President of Uzbekistan chaired a videoconference on June 3 this year and set the task of developing by October 1, 2020, the legal framework for the introduction of a living wage and a consumer basket.
Large-scale reforms to reduce poverty have been launched in Uzbekistan. This is not an easy process. Improving living standards, reducing poverty depend on a number of factors. For this, first of all, it is necessary to define clear poverty criteria. It is for this purpose that it is proposed to establish the cost of living.
As enshrined in the Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, pensions, benefits, other types of social assistance cannot be lower than the officially established subsistence level. It should be openly recognized that this norm did not work until today, the country has not yet established the cost of living. It is the absence of norms for determining the consumer basket and the minimum subsistence level, which are an important factor in determining the amount of pensions and benefits, which are the cause of many problems that exist today in the social protection system.
In simple words, a consumer basket is a minimal set of products, goods and services necessary for a person’s life and ensuring his health for a certain period of time. It determines the real standard of living of the population and the wellbeing.
The set of goods and services included in the consumer basket is different in each country. For example, in the United States, 300 items of goods and services are included in the consumer basket, in Germany – 475, in England – 350, in Russia – 156.
It should be noted that in the definition of the consumer basket, the minimum set of food products included in its composition is important. Its composition is determined at the state level and depends on many factors: the climatic conditions, the country’s economic development, the characteristics of food production, the actual consumption of goods and services, national characteristics and traditions.
The consumer basket should include the necessary set of food and non-food goods and services that are necessary for a normal human life.
In many countries, the amount of social benefits is determined on the basis of the consumer basket. Legal regulation in our country of concepts regarding the consumer basket will ensure that the income of the population matches the living wage and the consumer basket.
The establishment of a living wage and strengthening of the consumer basket by law, which are necessary to ensure a decent life for the population, are one of the important areas of our Party’s Pre-Election Program. That is why the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan has taken seriously the implementation of this important task. A working group of deputies, activists and party experts is conducting large-scale activity on studying and analyzing foreign experience in establishing a consumer basket and a living wage. Active work is underway to prepare a concept for a draft law on a living wage and a consumer basket.
The standard of living and wellbeing of the population increase, people are satisfied with their life in a society where there is social development and sustainability. However, this cannot be achieved without solving the problems existing in the social protection system. These goals are served by the large-scale reforms being carried out in our country to reduce poverty and develop legal frameworks for establishing the cost of living and consumer basket.
Sector Head of the Central Council of the
People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan