Development Uzbekistan GovernmentDevelopment of Potential of Local Government in Uzbekistan
This paper will be on Development of Potential of Local Government and Self Government Institutions of Citizens in Uzbekistan; their significant role and future reforms in building democratic socio-economically stable country.
After Soviet Union’s disintegration in 1991 and acquiring the Independence in Uzbekistan, the status of Local Governments and Self Government Institutes of Citizens noticeably increased: these institutions were recognized as one of the core factors in construction of the country and in building democratic society.
From rich experience of many developed countries, one can see that prosperity of civilians and society significantly depends on efficient work of these local government bodies. Efficient activity of Local Governments in territory, which is under their responsibility, certainly leads to honest allocation of recourses and their stability, improvement of entrepreneurships, more active participation of civil society and their representatives in Public Administration activities.
After Independence many efforts were made by Government of Uzbekistan to develop Public Administration System adopting various laws on juridical status, as well as financial status of Local Governance and Self Governance of Citizens.
Uzbekistan has been introducing and applying principles of decentralization and separation of authority and responsibilities between Central and Local Government bodies (as well as Self Government Systems) taking into account International models and Traditional systems of Public Administration. In particular, one of the ancient and traditional Self Government Institution of Citizens “Mahalla” looks like an independent NGO however, in reality, it is government-sanctioned and supported.
“Mahalla” being a unique traditional self administration mechanism has been given more and more authority and power by central and local government. Self Government Institutions “Mahalla” have been becoming the core element of process in decentralization of authority and development of local communities. Currently, “Mahalla” has much legislative authority which enables for promoting better operative and effective management in their own territories such are: social service, stimulation of entrepreneurships, and employment of population.
However, despite many successful achievements in this sphere, Central Government still has many doubts in providing large-scale decentralization, giving political, as well as financial power to lower tier administrative bodies, which can be understood by severe bureaucratic and hierarchy inherit of former Soviet system, as well as lack of developed International experience in the mentioned sphere.
While looking at the tendency of current reforms in Uzbekistan, one can conclude that there is a well-formed citizens’ local self-government body representing democratic and civil society in the country. However, there are many obstacle and challenges for effective activities of Local Government and Self Government Institutions. Today many International Organizations and NGOs such as United Nations, OSCE, International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch, many other organizations, as well as International Community are critical about the Self Governance Institutions “Mahalla” reforms in Uzbekistan with regard to the following issues:
Decentralization of functions of Public Administration units from Central Government to citizens self-government assemblies and institutions without providing adequate funds;
Unclear differentiation of authorities and functions between Local Government and Citizens’ self-government assemblies;
Excessive involvement and interference of central and local governmental bodies into activities and affairs of citizens’ self government institutions;
Lack of Financial capacity and autonomy of citizens’ self government institutions;
Non formal and sometimes illegal subordination of citizens’ self-government institutions to central and local government bodies and their non formal operative role as administrative units of the state bodies;
Lack of education and training in the field of Public Administration for the heads of Local Government and Self-Government Institutions (Mahalla).
In this respect, all abovementioned challenges and problems have resulted to stagnation of local development of Uzbekistan and necessitated the adoption of new policy measures and legal acts.
Taking into account these factors and analyzing the main reasons and factors of the derivation of the problems of local self-government reforms in Uzbekistan, the research/master thesis will provide proper solutions to the above problems, reviewing current legislation on citizens’ self-government to determine legal shortcomings so as to offer new legal and financial measures and mechanisms to improve the system.
Uzbekistan has a unique traditional model of local self governance in the form of citizens’ assembly “Mahalla” in cities, villages and rural settlements. As part of commitments to democratic society and market economy, it is necessary to develop and implement a comprehensive government policy aimed at the establishment of effective and functional local self-governance bodies that adhere to the social and political system of Uzbekistan and stem from the ancient national traditions of the Uzbek people.
Decentralization and delegation of power and authority to lower level of Public Administration, and expansion of the power and opportunities for local self government institutions and local government authorities in Uzbekistan today must be combined with the establishment of specific judicial control, which should be independent from executive central and local bodies. Decentralization and strengthening the role of potential of local government institutions and Local Councilors in Uzbekistan should be based on specific legislative normative acts, at the same time financial independence of civil-based organizations and the development of independent mass media.
Without the simultaneous development of all the aforementioned components, decentralization and the promotion of local self governance may result in continuing management by the authorities of the local community organizations, limiting the citizens’ participation in local governance. Such a reduction of people’s participation in community actions will continue to increase social tension.
If the State make special amendments and reforms local government and self government institutions “Mahalla” taking into account above problems and challenges, undoubtedly these institutes of self government of citizens will in the long run bring huge democratic changes in society and create strong network of civil society institutions, which in their turn make core contributions for the socio-economic development of Uzbekistan.
At the moment, the main task is encouragement of Central Government and providing recommendations for further decentralization (legal as well as financial) and the formation of the mechanism in realization of given authority and responsibilities.
This Research Goal is to analyze the current situation and provide specific recommendations on how to develop the potential of the local government and self government bodies through development of institutional and financial aspects, addressing legislative, socio-economic development issues, as well as increasing the citizens’ living standards. This research will discuss and analyze the Local Government Bodies in Uzbekistan and especially Traditional Self Government system “Mahalla” showing the problems and challenges of the system and will provide analyses and recommendations in order how to improve this Public Administration system according to Traditional, as well as International Experience (European Charter and Japanese experience on Local Governance).
Methodology of the Research is based on institutional, legislative and financial analyses:
First to study and analyze the legislative structure of the Pubic Administration system from the highest level to the lowest level, as well as the relationships among them;
Secondly, to conduct the studies of the structure of the lowest level of Public Administration “Mahalla, presenting more clear picture of the Public Administration system, providing macroeconomic situation, budget system and tax system of the state which analyzes the financial matters of local government in Uzbekistan;
Lastly, having more clear idea about the main issues and problems of the Local Government in Uzbekistan, the main goal of the research is to provide specific recommendations on changing, developing and strengthening the institutional, legislative and financial systems towards prospective Development of Potential of Local Government in Uzbekistan.
The main resource base of the research is on: Legal-Normative Constitutional documents, Civil and Tax codes and other main laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan; policy papers, articles and books relating Local Government of Uzbekistan in English, Russian and Uzbek languages; Macroeconomic and Financial statistics of the state from database of Ministries and Municipalities of Uzbekistan, International Organizations, UN headquarter (UNECE), reports of the USAID and JICA projects regarding Development of Local Government system in Uzbekistan.
Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 1992
Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan, 1992
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “on Self Governance of Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan” (adopted in 1999)
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Ratification of the Instruction on Calculation and Payment of Local Taxes and Duties to the Budget”, February 2003
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “on Local Taxes and Duties”, adopted in May 1993
Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “on Provision on Mahalla Committees in the Cities, Towns and Kishlaks of Uzbekistan” 1993
Civil Code of Uzbekistan, March 1997
“Uzbekistan: National Independence, Economy, Politics and Ideology” President Islam Karimov 1999
“The Role of Self-governments in the Construction of a Lawful State” (Rol’ organov samoupravleniya grazhdan v stroitelstve pravovogo gosudarstva), Journal in Russian, by Khalilov, E. In “Obshestvenniye nauki v Uzbekistane (Public Sciences in Uzbekistan) 1999, Tashkent
“Central Power and Regional and Local Government in Uzbekistan.” Unity or Separation: Center-Periphery Relations in the Former Soviet Union, Robertson and Kangas, D. Kempton and T.Clark, Eds, Praeger Publishers, 2001
“Main directions of local government reform in Uzbekistan”, CER. Working paper 2004/07
“The New Central Asia”, Oliver Roy, London, April 2000
The World Factbook, (Jan. 2007 est.) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/uz.html
“Assessment Of Current Legal And Operational Status Of Housing Partnerships In Uzbekistan”, Rabenhorst, Carol, The Urban Institute, November, 2002.
Agriculture of Uzbekistan, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Uzbekistan
City population, Territory and Population of the Administrative Units of Uzbekistan, http://www.citypopulation.de/Uzbekistan.html#Land
“Judicial Reform Index of Uzbekistan”, ABA/CEELI, May 2002
“Traditional Communities in Modern Uzbekistan.” Arifkhanova Zoia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. October 2000.
“Identity / Difference in Central Asia: Tribes, Clans and Mahalla.” Unity or Separation, Bichel, Anthony. Center-Periphery Relations in the Former Soviet Union, D. Kempton and T. Clark, Eds, Praeger Publishers, 2001.
“Estimating Revenue Capacity of Oblasts in Uzbekistan: Assessment and Recommendations.” MacNevin, Alex. Bearing Point / USAID, July 2003