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Local Government in Uzbekistan



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Local Government
in Uzbekistan
Kuatbay Bektemirov
Eduard Rahimov
Chapter 9
Developing New Rules in the Old Environment
Local Government in Uzbekistan
1. Major General Indicators...........................................................................473
2. Legal and Constitutional Basis...................................................................474
2.1 Overview of Local Government Reform ...........................................474
2.2 Legal Basis of Community Self-government ..................................... 475
2.3 The Mahalla as a Form of Community Self-government .................. 477
2.4 Territories with Special Status ...........................................................478
3. Local Politics, Decision Making .................................................................479
3.1 Public Participation in Decision Making .......................................... 479
3.2 Internal Structure of Local Government Decision Making ................480
3.3 Methods of Election or Appointment to Government Positions ....... 481
3.4 System of Local Elections ................................................................. 482
3.5 Relationship between Elected
and Appointed Local Government Bodies........................................483
3.6 Functional Autonomy in Decision Making ...................................... 484
3.7 Ethnic Issues, Multicultural Government.........................................484
3.8 Local Government Associations ........................................................485
4. Functional Structure of Local Government................................................486
4.1 Local Government Functions...........................................................486
4.2 Distribution of Powers among Government Tiers ............................ 488
5. Public Service Provision ............................................................................ 489
5.1 Distribution of Functions ................................................................489
5.2 Trends in Public Service Provision ....................................................490
5.3 Civil and Private Sector Role in Service Delivery ...............................492
6. Local Finance, Local Property ....................................................................493
6.1 Budget and Finance System .............................................................493
6.2 Revenues .........................................................................................495
6.3 Expenditures ...................................................................................496
6.4 Local Budget Process ....................................................................... 496
6.5 Tax System, Local Taxes ...................................................................499
6.6 Legal Forms of Ownership ............................................................... 501
7. Relationship between the State Administration and Local Government......503
8. Local Government Employees................................................................... 504
9. Legal Guarantees for Local Autonomy .......................................................505
10. Next Steps in the Transition Process .......................................................... 506
Recent Publications on Local Government in Uzbekistan ................................... 508
Contacts for Further Information on Local Government in Uzbekistan ...............508
Glossary of Uzbek Terms ....................................................................................509
Annex 9.1: Major General Indicators ................................................................. 511
Annex 9.2: Population, Settlements and Administrative Units............................512
Annex 9.3: Major Laws on Public Administration and Local Government ..........517
Annex 9.4: Responsibilities of Administrative Tiers ............................................518
Local Government in Uzbekistan
Kuatbay Bektemirov & Eduard Rahimov
1. Major General Indicators
The Republic of Uzbekistan has been a sovereign state since September 1991. Located in the middle
of Central Asia, Uzbekistan occupies most of the area between the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers,
a total of 448,900 square kilometers. As of the beginning of 2000, Uzbekistan had a total of
24,487,700 inhabitants, 61.6 percent of whom live in rural areas. The average life expectancy is
67.8 years. Uzbeks account for seventy-seven percent of the population and Russians for six percent,
while other ethnic groups such as the Tajiks, Kazakhs and Kara-Kalpaks comprise the remaining
seventeen percent. In terms of religious faith, eighty-eight percent are Muslim (primarily Sunni),
nine percent are Orthodox Christians and three percent are of other faiths. There were 4,992,000
government sector employees as of the first half of 1999, of which 119,000 were employees of
public administration agencies.
The vast majority of urban settlements (74.3 percent) have populations of five thousand to fifty
thousand people. The capital city, Taskent, has over two million inhabitants, while eleven other
cities have populations exceeding one hundred thousand. Of rural districts, or raions, 79.3 percent
have populations of fifty thousand to two hundred fifty thousand inhabitants. Rural districts have
an average population of 235,500 and an average number of 72.2 settlements per district.
The Republic of Uzbekistan consists of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, twelve oblasts, or regions,
120 cities, 113 towns, 164 raions and 11,844 rural settlements. The most densely populated regions
are Andizhan, with 506.3 people per square kilometer; Ferghana, with 365.7 people per square
kilometer; and Namanghan, with 236.4 people per square kilometer. The city of Tashkent also has
a relatively high population density (150.7), as do the regions of Khorezm (203), Samarkand
(158.8) and Syr-Darya (127.9). The desert areas of the Navoi regions are the most sparsely inhabited,
with seven inhabitants per square kilometer overall, a number which diminishes to 4.1 in rural areas.
Similarly, the Republic of Karakalpakstan has only 8.9 inhabitants per square kilometer overall and
4.6 in rural areas.
The system of public administration in Uzbekistan is comprised of two tiers, central and local. Local
governments are subdivided into regional, district and city administrations. In addition, community
self-governments also operate locally, although they are not part of the central public administration
2. Legal and Constitutional Basis
2.1 Overview of Local Government Reform
Since independence, Uzbekistan has laid down entirely new foundations for the national state, dis-
mantling the previous administrative system. Many former political and economic government
structures were thus dissolved to pave the way for an Uzbek state governed by democratic principles.
The adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan on 8 December 1992 created the
basis for the developing legislative framework of a sovereign Uzbekistan. Section 4 of the Constitution
defines the state and administrative-territorial structure of Uzbekistan, while article 11 establishes
the division of powers—legislative, executive and judicial—on which the government is based.
In 1994, the first elections were held according to the new electoral system. Representatives were
elected both to Parliament (Oliy Majlis) and to the local councils. The unicameral Oliy Majlis
(literally “Supreme Council” in Uzbek) is the highest legislative body in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
It is currently composed of 250 deputies elected for a term of five years through multi-party elections
in local districts.
The office of the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan, introduced in 1990, is the central position
in public administration and the keystone in the national political system. According to article 89 of
the Constitution, the president possesses both chief executive authority and the powers of head of
the state. Therefore, the president of the country simultaneously performs the office of Chairman of
the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the highest executive body.
The system of local government has been established according to the Law on Local Public Administra-
tion, adopted on 2 September 1993. Local government activities are specified in the seven chapters
and twenty articles of the law. Article 1 states that the local representative authorities at the regional,
district and city levels are the local councils, whose full name in Uzbek is “Councils of People’s
Deputies.” According to article 99 of the Uzbekistan Constitution, local councils at all levels are
headed by a chairman, or hokim (hokim is translated as deputy ruler). Regional, district and city
hokims also act as the head of the local executive branch, or hokimiyat.
Establishing a new system of local government according to constitutionally defined principles
marked the final step in the process of government reform in Uzbekistan. Local government powers
are shared between local divisions of state administration and the local self-government, which itself
is comprised of the local council and the hokimiyat. The institution of the hokim is the core of the
new system, combining executive and representative functions.
The general distribution of authority between the central and local governments is defined in the
Constitution. At the macroeconomic level, the central government has the authority to establish
uniform tax, loan and monetary policy (articles 122 and 123), relevant powers assigned to the
President and the Cabinet of Ministers and special powers belonging to the Zhokargy Kenes (Karakalpak
for “Supreme Council”) and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. Other
aspects of central government authority are addressed in the Law on Land Cadastre, the Law on
Ownership, the Law on Denationalization and Privatization, the Law on Banks and Banking Activities
and the Law on Natural Resources.
The new structure of executive power differs from previous ones in that the executive branch does
not possess planning or distribution powers, and is only responsible for coordinating and regulating
economic policies. Central government bodies are charged with maintaining the overall balance between
supply and demand for goods and services. Socio-economic development at the local level is regulated
on a case-by-case basis in addition to national and regional programs targeted at specific socio-economic
issues. Administration and coordination of regional development is performed jointly by these bodies:
1. The Office of the President, which coordinates decisions on local development through its
Department of Socio-economic Policy;
2. The Cabinet of Ministers, whose Information and Analysis Department is responsible for the
consolidation and development of relevant government resolutions and monitors their imple-
mentation. This department has territorial offices in regions, Taskent and the Republic of
3. The Ministry of Macroeconomics and Statistics. Its territorial offices are responsible for analyzing
the current status of socio-economic development and formulating annual and long-term
development programs for territories;
4. The Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, Committee for State Property Management and Support
of Entrepreneurial Activities, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Ministry of Labor,
Ministry of Social Welfare, State Committee for the Protection of Nature and the State
Committee for Construction and Architecture. All of these agencies participate in the resolution
of specific issues related to local development through the activities of their territorial offices;
5. Local administrations. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and
hokimiyats of regions, districts and cities directly oversee the development of their territories.
2.2 Legal Basis of Community Self-government
Local government in Uzbekistan is supplemented by self-governing community organizations. The
Law on Community Self-government, adopted in 1993 and subsequently revised in 1999, defines
community self-government as “independent activity by citizens, guaranteed by the Constitution
and the Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, for the purpose of resolving issues of local importance
according to their own interests and history, as well as to national traditions, spiritual values and local
Community self-governments exist throughout Uzbekistan, based on the principle of decentralization.
Different types of territorial units engaging in self-government activities include villages, kishlaks,
auls and mahallas. According to article 10 of the Law on Naming Administrative-territorial Units,
the term “village” refers to localities with over two thousand inhabitants which are located in the
vicinity of industrial or construction enterprises, railway stations or other important objects.
Kishlak is the Uzbek name for rural settlement. Its equivalent in Kara-Kalpak, Kazakh or Tatar is aul,
a term which refers to compact enclaves composed primarily of these ethnic groups. A kishlak or aul
may comprise many neighboring localities and is represented by an assembly of its citizens. Localities
are grouped together under a given rural assembly using the criterion of convenience for local
inhabitants. Government bodies establish or abolish villages, kishlaks and auls, and modify their
territories or names with due regard for the opinion of the relevant self-governments.
Mahalla is an Arabic word meaning “local community” and refers to a community of people residing
in a specific territory. Mahallas may vary in size from 150 to 1500 families. In cities, mahallas are
generally established by the residents of a particular residential quarter or suburb. According to
article 5 of the amended Law on Community Self-government Bodies, local governments may
establish, abolish, merge or divide mahallas and modify mahalla borders upon the initiative of the
mahalla self-government.
Citizens exercise their constitutional right to self-governance through citizen assemblies. These
assemblies, attended by resident citizens over the age of eighteen, are the highest body of community
self-government and are entitled to represent the interests of its inhabitants and make decisions on
their behalf, which are effective on the respective territory.
According to article 7 of the Law on Community Self-government, bodies of community self-
government include citizen assemblies of villages, kishlaks and auls, as well as those of mahallas
within cities, villages, kishlaks or auls. An assembly council (kengash) is created to implement the
decisions of the citizen assembly and to carry out daily self-government activities between sessions.
This council is comprised of the chairman of the citizens’ assembly, various advisors, chairmen of
assembly commissions and the executive secretary.
Community self-governments are non-governmental organizations, separate from the system of
central government. They enjoy the rights of legal entities, possess unique official seals and are
subject to registration with local government bodies. The guiding principles of the self-governments
are democracy, humanism, openness, social justice and local autonomy.
According to article 3 of the Law on Local Public Administration and article 6 of the Law on
Community Self-government, central government bodies should create the necessary conditions for
the development of community self-governments without interfering in their affairs and assist
citizens in the execution of their right to self-governance. However, this provision is rarely fulfilled;
in practice, community self-governments have thus far had limited independence.
2.3 The Mahalla as a Form of Community Self-government
Today, the term “mahalla” is used uniformly in Uzbekistan to refer to a neighborhood community.
In the East, the neighborhood community as a unit of social life dates back to ancient times. Mahalla,
in both its historic and modern meanings, represents a clearly defined socio-demographic, cultural
and spiritual entity, as well as an administrative-territorial one, in which people are united by
traditions, customs and human, business and legal relationships. For centuries, these territorial
entities have shaped the creation of rules of human coexistence, public opinion, ideological systems
and outlooks within their boundaries.
Mahallas have received powerful support from the central government since the early stages of
Uzbek independence. The state considers their welfare to be essential for the stability of the republic.
In his book, Uzbekistan: National Independence, Economy, Politics, and Ideology, President Karimov
emphasizes that “an important feature of our society is that it is based on the idea of collectivism, the
unity of communal interests and the priority of public opinion. Therefore, mahallas play a major
part in democratizing society and realizing its main principles, foremost that of social justice. Today,
there is no other entity more knowledgeable about the real financial situation of local families and
their spiritual and cultural interests. Mahallas are the fairest and most credible mechanisms for social
support of the population and should become a reliable support and an effective instrument of
reform in our society.”
In the Soviet era, mahallas existed alongside former government bodies such as local village councils.
Today, mahallas have assumed their functions and are developing into bodies of local self-governance.
Their recently acquired formal status as an important component of the state is reflected in the
Regulation on Mahalla Committees in Cities, Villages and Kishlaks. In 1997, Uzbekistan had roughly
ten thousand mahallas. Some mahallas have been established even within large city apartment blocks.
In view of new government objectives, the administrative structure of the mahalla has been clearly
defined. A general assembly of household representatives elects a committee, or kengash, to head the
mahalla. Committee members may also include elders elected for their experience in organizational
work. This committee elects a chairman, officially titled chairman of the mahalla assembly, but more
commonly known as the aqsaqal, a deputy chairman (muovin) and a secretary (kotib). Specific mahalla
commissions are founded for improving living conditions, organizing ceremonial events, maintaining
public order, housing stock and finances and overseeing issues concerning women, youths, war and
veterans. In rural areas, several mahalla committees may combine to form one citizen assembly.
The social status of mahalla chairmen has changed notably. Many chairmen have extensive experience
with administration in Soviet institutions, schools and universities, although inhabitants ultimately
elect those who are familiar with popular customs and traditions. The prestige of the mahalla
administration overall has significantly increased over recent years and the offices of chairman and
secretary are now paid positions. In a further move to promote mahalla administration activity, a
Presidential Decree on Support to Community Self-governments, adopted 23 April 1998, raised
the salaries of both chairman and secretary and assigned a full retirement pension to chairmen.
In the years since independence, mahallas have accumulated substantial experience in resolving
social, economic and other local issues. Many of them are now actively involved in the implementation
of the large-scale government programs for revitalizing society and improving the quality of life.
They also create material and spiritual conditions fostering individual initiative. Mahallas have
gained experience in this area, as shown by the examples of Beruni mahalla in the Sabir Rahimov
district of Tashkent, Yoshlik mahalla in the city of Djizak and Ulugbek kishlak mahalla in the Samarkand
Mahalla committees have also materially increased their financial capabilities. The government now
permits them to engage in economic activity and establish industrial enterprises, canteens, shops or
other facilities which contribute a share of their profits to mahalla funds. In addition, hokimiyats
provide some financial support to mahallas, typically allocating one percent of the sale value of real-
estate. It is also community custom that those who are better off share their wealth with their neighbors
and citizens accordingly provide material assistance to the community. Traditionally, these acts are
performed on a voluntary basis and are not widely publicized.
The tradition of community-based assistance acquired new forms and content once the government
shifted its aims from universal social protection to support for the most vulnerable population groups.
In a decision unprecedented elsewhere in the world, mahallas were charged with the distribution of
certain government funds. This was designed to target social assistance more accurately, since mahallas
are best placed to discern those in need of assistance, as well as to reduce administrative expenses.
For example, a special mahalla commission pays benefits to unemployed mothers of children under
two, according to the Presidential Decree on the Increase of Material Support for Children, adopted in
December 1996. Assistance to families with children is the largest social program in terms of both
expenditures and beneficiaries, accounting for 6.3 percent of all national budget expenditures in 1998.
In January 1999, a Presidential Decree on Increasing the Role of Community Self-governments in
Providing Targeted Social Assistance appointed community self-governments to oversee timely payment
for public utilities. Part of these funds is then transferred to the mahalla to subsidize public services for
low-income families. This role has considerably improved the prestige of mahalla committees. However,
it must be noted that the excessive expansion of responsibilities frequently leads to bureaucratization
of mahalla committee activity and thus distracts them from their main traditional functions.
2.4 Territories with Special Status
The Republic of Karakalpakstan is the only territorial autonomy with special status in Uzbekistan.
Formerly the Karakalpak ASSR, it was renamed in 1992. As of 1 January 2000, Karakalpakstan had
a population of over 1.5 million people in an area of 165,000 square kilometers. According to article
70 of the Uzbek Constitution, the Republic of Karakalpakstan is part of the Republic of Uzbekistan
and its sovereignty is protected by the Republic of Uzbekistan.
According to the Constitution of Karakalpakstan, adopted on 9 April 1993, the highest representative
state body with legislative authority is the Zhokargy Kenes. Its exclusive powers include the adoption
and amendment of the Constitution and laws of Karakalpakstan.
The Uzbek Constitution also states that the Karakalpak Constitution may not contradict the Uzbek
Constitution and that the laws of Uzbekistan are also mandatory and binding on the territory of
Karakalpakstan. Article 75 of the Uzbek Constitution stipulates that relations between Uzbekistan
and Karakalpakstan are regulated by their bilateral agreements.
In general, Karakalpak laws are virtually identical to the equivalent Uzbek laws, with only minor
changes. For example, according to article 99 of the Karakalpak Constitution, bodies of self-governance
in villages, auls, as well as city makan-kenes’es (mahallas) are citizen assemblies. Local self-government
powers, procedures and elections are regulated by the Karakalpak Law on Community Self-
government, very similar to the Uzbek law of the same name. This is true for the Law on Local Public
Administration and many others. Thus, the system of local self-governance in Karakalpakstan does
not differ greatly from the rest of the nation.
Tashkent, the political, economic, administrative, academic and cultural center of Uzbekistan, is
another administrative-territorial unit with special status. As the capital city of the country, it is
the largest city directly subordinate to the republic. As of 1 January 2000, it had a population of
2,135,500. Although there is no specific law on the status of the capital city, Tashkent has an
administrative structure unlike other cities in that its hokim, like regional hokims, is appointed
directly by the president, as stipulated in both the Constitution and Law on Local Public
Administration. In addition, Tashkent is divided into eleven administrative districts, each with their
own hokim and hokimiyat, which are in turn divided into several mahallas.
3. Local Politics, Decision Making
3.1 Public Participation in Decision Making
Popular traditions have been used as a basis for reforming the system of self-governance. These
include several traditionally Eastern features such as paternalism, continuity, the power of moral
example, esteem for elders and an orientation toward family values. These principles, rooted in the
community and deeply embedded in both individual and collective psychology, remain relevant
and adaptable to the new socio-economic reality.
Citizen assemblies arguably represent a traditional form of public participation in the decision
making process. Citizen assemblies resolve local social issues and make proposals to government
authorities regarding specific decisions. The new version of the Law on Community Self-government
has also expanded opportunities for their participation in decision making. For instance, they will be
able to more efficiently control the local execution of law and review reports from heads of enterprises
located in community territory on issues of environmental protection and land improvement.
According to the Constitution, the most important issues regarding the state and society are subject
to public discussion and referendum. Consequently, a public referendum was held on 26 March
1995, to determine the timing of the presidential elections. A new public referendum will decide
whether to introduce a bicameral parliament in 2004. There is no law on local referenda, as local
referenda and public hearings are not widely popular.
Although local referenda are infrequent, representative and executive bodies acknowledge the
importance of public opinion, making it a priority to review citizen appeals and often taking the
opinion of citizens and NGOs into account when making decisions. The hokim holds regular office
hours open to citizens who wish to make complaints or proposals. Local council members also review
citizen requests in meetings with their constituencies and take specific local measures in response.
The establishment of the Ombudsman’s office and its regional offices has created yet another mode
for citizen participation.
3.2 Internal Structure of Local Government Decision Making
Regional, district and city council members are elected by the residents of the respective territory.
Councils conduct their activities through council sessions, which are convened by the hokim at least
twice per year. In addition, they may be convened at the initiative of two thirds of the members.
Council members shall be notified of the hokim’s decision to open a session at least seven days
beforehand. The sessions are chaired by the hokim or, in his or her absence, by a council member
appointed by either the hokim or the council. The secretary is elected from the council members for
the duration of the session. The session has due authority provided that at least two thirds or total
members are in attendance.
Local council decisions are approved by a majority of council members through open vote or secret
ballot. Special commissions are established to prepare issues to be submitted to the session, to control
the execution of council decisions and to implement the legal acts of Uzbekistan.
The local council has authority over issues related to the activities of the local executive branch. The
hokim and deputy hokims are appointed and dismissed with council approval. In addition, the
council reviews general legislation, approves the budget and reviews reports from the hokim and the
local administration on implementation of council decisions.
The local council establishes the rates of local taxes, duties and fees and may determine exemptions
in compliance with the applicable legislation. It also decides upon issues related to the protection of
citizens’ rights, social and economic development, environmental protection and administrative
matters, and may resolve other issues within its competence.
The hokim is empowered to make decisions and issue instructions. He or she is responsible for
planning, funding and managing local property. The hokim also coordinates the activities of community
self-governments and enterprises of different forms of ownership which provide construction, transport,
roads, telecommunications and trade, communal, social or cultural services. In addition, the hokim
is responsible for administering social protection, law enforcement and protection of human rights
and freedoms. In cases specifically envisaged by the law, the hokim’s decisions shall be approved by
the local council. If any of the hokim’s decisions contradict legislation, the council is empowered to
annul them.
Local council legislation and hokim decisions adopted within their competence are binding for all
citizens, officials and enterprises located in the given territory. These acts enter into force at the date
of signing, unless the act itself stipulates otherwise.
3.3 Methods of Election or Appointment to Government Positions
According to the Constitution, the president has the power to appoint or dismiss the first deputy
and deputies of the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet of Ministers, subject to approval by
the Oliy Majlis. The president also appoints and dismisses the hokims of regions and Tashkent, subject
to approval by the corresponding councils. As a rule, candidates are promoted from the personnel
reserve currently under formation by the administrative and human resource divisions of the state
Regional hokims in turn appoint district and city hokim, subject to approval by the district or city
council. City hokims appoint hokims to city districts upon the approval of the city council, and
district hokims appoint hokims to cities of district subordination upon approval by the raion council.
The latter are also considered to be the district hokim’s first deputies; other deputies are also appointed
or dismissed by hokims at all levels subject to the approval of their respective council.
According to article 80 of the Karakalpak Constitution, the chairman of the Supreme Council
(Zhokargy Kenes) is the highest government official in Karakalpakstan. Elected from the members
of the Supreme Council, the chairman may serve a maximum of two terms in office. The Council of
Ministers of Karakalpakstan is the highest body of state administration in the autonomous republic.
The Council of Ministers is headed by a chairman who is nominated by the chairman of the
Supreme Council and appointed by the Supreme Council in coordination with the President of
Uzbekistan. Raion and city hokims of Karakalpakstan are appointed and dismissed by the chairman
of the Supreme Council upon nomination by the chairman of the Council of Ministers and are
subsequently approved by the corresponding local council.
The personnel policy of the Uzbek government is designed to ensure the regular rotation of public
servants in both central and local governments in order to promote industriousness and prevent
corruption. It is no secret that family, neighborhood and clan connections play an important role in
staff promotion. However, these are gradually becoming less reliable guarantees for obtaining
prestigious government posts and privileged community status. Under the new political and economic
conditions, entrepreneurial qualifications, skills and initiative are increasingly valued over family and
political connections.
3.4 System of Local Elections
All citizens over eighteen years old are eligible to vote and run for office, with the exception of those
who are imprisoned or declared incompetent by court. Presidential, parliamentary and local council
elections are regulated by the Law on Presidential Elections, the Law on Elections to the Oliy Majlis
and the Law on Elections to Regional, District and City Councils, amended on 26 December 1997
and 19 August 1999. Elections have been held twice in Uzbekistan since independence. Unlike
elections held under the old regime, these were organized on a competitive, multi-party basis. The
most recent elections to Parliament and local councils were held in December 1999 and the most
recent presidential elections on 9 January 2000.
Although the Constitution has laid the legal foundations for the functioning of a multi-party system,
the new political system of the republic is still under development. According to article 34, citizens
have the right to form political parties, trade unions and other public associations. Currently, there are
five registered political parties. Political parties may nominate their parliamentary candidate if they
have been registered at the Ministry of Justice at least six months prior to elections and have gathered
fifty thousand signatures. However, no more than ten percent of the fifty thousand signatures may
come from any one region, including Tashkent and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. Political parties may
nominate up to 250 candidates for Parliament, a total of one candidate from each electoral district.
In the 1999 elections, unlike previous elections, citizens were granted the right to nominate their
own candidates. Citizens may form an initiative group of at least one hundred voters in a given electoral
district to nominate a candidate. Local governments also nominate their own candidates, usually the
local hokim. Local administration officials, members of government and employees in the Office of
the Public Prosecutor may run for office, but must resign their posts if elected. Hokims are permitted
to both perform their office and enjoy membership in the Oliy Majlis, as it is not yet a professional
parliament, convening only for two to three days, four times per year, in order to adopt laws drafted
by its committees and commissions.
It should be noted that candidacy requirements are not equal, since local government sponsored
candidates are not required to gather signatures in their support, unlike candidates from political
parties or citizen initiative groups. In addition, pre-election meetings of candidates and their consti-
tuencies may only be organized by the electoral commission and held in its presence of its members,
who are usually influenced by local governments. There is evidence of hokimiyats pressuring certain
candidates and generally interfering in the election process, all of which is to the detriment of truly
democratic elections.
In the 1999 elections to the Oliy Majlis, the results were as follows: forty-eight seats were won by the
People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDPU); thirty-four by the People’s Democratic Party
Fidokorlar (The Selfless); twenty by the Vatan Tarakkiyoti Party (“Motherland Progress”); eleven by
the Social Democratic Party Adolath (“Justice”); ten by the Democratic Party Milliy Tiklanish
(“National Rebirth”); 110 by local governments; and sixteen by voter initiative groups.
To some extent, political diversity at the local council level is reflected by the parliamentary elections.
Analysis of these elections reveals the dynamics of growth among the different political powers and
their popularity. For instance, most council seats at the regional, district and city levels had frequently
been occupied by representatives of local governments and members of the PDPU, the former
communist party. Today, the Fidokorlar Party is also widely represented in the local councils, although
the popularity of other parties at the local level is still rather low, demonstrating how gradually this
traditional Eastern society is moving towards a democratic system. According to the Law on
Community Self-governments, citizens’ assemblies may submit proposals to local councils on the
nomination of candidates to Parliament, regional councils and the Tashkent council and decide
upon the nomination of candidates to district and city councils.
In 1993, the first elections of chairmen (aqsaqals) and council members of citizen assemblies were
held, following the adoption of the Law on Community Self-government. Elections of citizen
assemblies and their officials may be held by secret or open ballot, provided that all citizen voting
rights are upheld. During the preparation for elections, local agencies of the central government
must assess and recommend the candidates. These agencies organize public opinion polls on
candidates, evaluate their professional, organizational and moral qualities, and analyze the previous
work record of assembly chairmen. The role of political parties in this process is still insignificant.
In November 1998, citizen assemblies were organized nationwide to hold the elections for community
chairmen. Seventy percent of the adult population participated, a total of 8.4 million people. In many
places, citizens voiced their dissatisfaction with ineffective or indifferent self-government heads, refusing
to re-elect eighteen percent of chairmen for a second term. Among council members, forty-seven
percent were not returned to office. In total, 7,574 chairmen were elected. Of these, 65.5 percent
had received higher education and over half of them are under the age of fifty. A total of 446 women
were elected as chairmen and over 14,000 as council members. On average, ten council members and
one chairman were elected per self-government. Among council members, 42.2 percent have received
higher education. Of both chairmen and councilors, 372 individuals have a scientific degree.
3.5 Relationship between Elected and Appointed Local Government Bodies
The Constitution assigns specific powers to the Parliament, the president, Cabinet of Ministers,
Supreme Court and other courts of the Republic. The principle of division of powers was subsequently
elaborated in further legislation, such as the Law on the Oliy Majlis, the Law on the Cabinet of
Ministers and the Law on the Courts. It should be noted that even with the attempts to specify the
functions of each branch of power, their “solidarization” still remains an important goal. This does
not dictate a uniform approach to all government activities; in contrast, it refers to coordinated effort
rather than unification along party lines. Coordination of activities between all government bodies
is necessary for the strength of the institution as a whole.
An objective analysis of the laws and activities of representative and executive powers reveals that
hokimiyats ultimately possess the upper hand in their relationships with local councils. On one
hand, council approval is necessary for their appointment to office and councils may monitor hokim
activities by reviewing their reports in local council sessions. However, the extent to which hokims
are truly accountable to the council remains unclear. The actual role of local councils in the system of
local state administration is rather limited, while hokims have real political, legal, organizational, staff,
material and financial advantages. As long as the same individual heads both branches of power, the
principle of undivided authority prevails over those of democracy.
3.6 Functional Autonomy in Decision Making
According to article 103 of the Constitution, regional, district and city hokims exercise their powers
on the principle of undivided authority and are personally responsible for the decisions and activities
of government bodies subordinate to them. The hokims’ decisions are binding for all enterprises,
institutions, organizations, officials and inhabitants in the respective territory, provided they are
made on issues within their competence.
Decisions of the higher levels of government are obligatory for lower ones. The hokim must comply
with legislation of Uzbekistan, implement Oliy Majlis resolutions, presidential decrees, instructions
of the Cabinet of Ministers or higher hokims and execute local council decisions within the territory
of the local government. The hokim may also annul decisions of lower level governments if they
contradict the Constitution or other legislation.
3.7 Ethnic Issues, Multicultural Government
Representatives of over one hundred nationalities live in Uzbekistan. Of these, Uzbeks are the most
numerous. According to article 4 of the Constitution, all citizens have the same rights and freedoms
and are equal under the law regardless of gender, race, language, belief or social origin. The state
language is Uzbek, except in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, which uses both Karakalpak and
Uzbek as official state languages. The Constitution guarantees respect for the languages, customs
and traditions of national and ethnic groups living in Uzbekistan and ensures conditions for their
continued development. Many ethnic groups have the opportunity to maintain their unique cultural
identities by practicing their national traditions, establishing associations or cultural institutions and
exchanging information or providing education in their native languages.
Uzbek legislation does not indicate special privileges for any ethnic groups with regard to participating
in public administration. The rights of representation and participation in political life are regulated
by common legislation, which treats all citizens equally. This equal status is borne out by the ethnic
composition of candidates in the most recent elections. Of all registered candidates for Parliament
approximately eighty-nine percent were Uzbek; 5.1 percent Karakalpak; 2.1 percent Tajik; 1.6
percent Russian; 1.3 percent Kazakh and 1.1 percent representatives of other ethnic groups.
3.8 Local Government Associations
According to article 4 of the Law on Local Public Administration, local councils and hokims of
different cities or districts are authorized to undertake joint measures in their mutual interest, such as
setting up joint ventures, business associations or other contractual forms of inter-governmental
cooperation. Local governments cooperate on a voluntary basis, in the spirit of solidarity. They may
organize funds and establish joint structures to perform common duties. They may also unite to
form associations or alliances in order to regulate and represent the interests of a larger territory. The
status of these associations is defined by the type of organization.
Local governments may also cooperate to improve local self-government and service delivery, form
partnerships with foreign municipalities and work together with local offices of international
organizations. According to article 17 of the Law on Community Self-governments, a national council
of aqsaqals and oblast, district and city coordination councils on self-government issues may be established
to coordinate local self-government activities.
The national non-profit Mahalla Foundation was established to provide state support to preserve
historical and spiritual values, to promote folk customs and traditions, to disseminate cultural and
educational activities among mahallas and to encourage further social and economic development.
The foundation distributes funds to organize different events and publishes the Mahalla newspaper.
Major foundation activities are directed at:
improving the activities of local mahalla committees nationwide;
improving social protection of low income families, disabled people and children in the local
promoting concepts of humanism, mercy, mutual understanding and good neighborly relations.
Counterpart Consortium, an international NGO, is currently implementing a program to support the
mahalla initiative and strengthen cooperation between NGOs and local self-government in the Republic
of Karakalpakstan and the Bukhara and Ferghana regions. The program’s main objectives include:
increasing the participation of mahallas in NGOs activities on the grounds that they are
recognized representatives of public opinion and partners of the local communities;
encouraging the transformation of mahalla committees and other administrative structures in
order to establish efficient two-way communication between citizens and the state;
establishing sustainable interaction between mahalla committees and NGOs within the
framework of social partnership.
4. Functional Structure of Local Government
4.1 Local Government Functions
Local government activities are regulated by the Law on Local Public Administration. Major local
council functions are the following:
to approve the local budget and report on its execution;
to approve long-term social, economic and land development programs and plans for regions,
districts or cities;
to establish tax privileges or exemptions on local taxes, duties and fees;
to approve the appointment or dismissal of hokims or deputy hokims and review reports on
their activities;
to review reports from heads of divisions, departments and other structural units of the executive
to approve and amend regulations concerning the local council and provisions on council
to establish or dissolve local council commissions and review reports on their activities;
to certify local council members or dismiss them from office before the end of their term;
to review and decide upon council member initiatives.
Major functions of the local hokim functions are:
to supervise economic, social and cultural activities in the region, district or city;
to develop and maintain social and economic development programs;
to mobilize territorial and inter-sectoral resources to promote efficiency in production and the
solution of social issues;
to submit local social and economic development programs to the local council for approval;
to submit major components of the local budget and budget execution to the local council for
to continue privatization and destatization efforts at the local level;
to promote foreign and inter-regional economic relations;
to provide for the enforcement of law, order and security;
to supervise local communal services;
to ensure protection of the environment.
Both internal and external bodies perform control, audit and supervision functions over local govern-
ments. Internal control is the responsibility of the representative branch, and is performed by the
hokim, the budget and finance commission and the accountant. The hokim monitors operations of
all department heads and local administration employees, while the budget and finance commission
monitors changes in budget revenues. The control and audit department of the Ministry of Finance
and its local government divisions monitor local government assets.
State regulatory bodies are charged with overseeing the implementation of approved programs and
their timely performance. In addition, they monitor the application of economic legislation and the
observance of the rights and guarantees for businesses. These functions are fulfilled by special control
bodies of the executive branch of government and the court system, primarily by the economic courts.
According to the Law on Community Self-government, citizen assemblies in villages, kishlaks, auls
and mahallas are usually responsible for the following functions:
electing a chairman and committee, electing commission members and commission chairs for
main areas of assembly activity and reviewing their reports on a quarterly basis;
electing an audit and administrative commission;
approving the action plan and expenditures of the community self-government as well as
measures to improve local sanitary conditions;
exercising control within the community over the implementation of national legislation as
well as community government decisions;
sending representatives to district election committees for presidential, parliamentary and local
council elections;
reviewing reports from the heads of district, city and regional hokimiyats on issues within the
competence of community self-governments. Minutes of the citizen assemblies on these reports
are sent to the regional or Tashkent hokimiyats, which then register them and control the ful-
fillment of citizens’ applications;
forming own local self-government funds and owning, managing and disposing of local
government property;
organizing control over expenditures;
organizing voluntary financial collections from residents to improve public places or to assist
low-income families to repair their housing;
deciding upon the contractual use of resources belonging to enterprises or organizations located
on the respective territory to improve them, plant trees and gardens or organize sanitary purification;
deciding upon the voluntary pooling of funds from legal entities and individuals for the
development of local social infrastructure;
sending representatives to the district commission on distributing plots of land.
In addition, city mahalla meetings address issues concerning benefits to needy families with children
and ensure the targeted and efficient use of state funds. Citizen assemblies in villages, kishlaks and
auls support the meetings of the mahallas in their territories and review their reports on the use of
centrally allocated funds. The kengash of the citizens’ assembly has the following responsibilities:
to assign and distribute benefits to unemployed mothers with children under two years old
from state budget funds according to established procedures;
to support regular medical care for single senior citizens who require permanent care, using
funds allocated by the state;
to facilitate employment opportunities for local inhabitants, for example, by organizing home-
based jobs.
More and more often, community self-governments are undertaking initiatives and engaging in
entrepreneurial activity by opening small private companies, joint ventures, commercial shops and
cooperatives to produce consumer goods or by establishing subsidiary farms to raise cattle and
poultry or cultivate crops. For instance, the meeting of Mahalla Number 34 of Bukhara opened a
custom tailor shop in its territory, thus providing dozens of women with jobs. In addition, they have
established a shoemaker’s workshop, a barber shop, a tearoom, a greenhouse and a bakery.
4.2 Distribution of Powers among Government Tiers
Government reform has proceeded according to the stated principle that “the state is the major
reformer,” adopted as the Uzbek national model. Accordingly, in the initial stage of reforms, the state
concentrated major authorities, including central executive power, in its own hands. Currently,
reform is characterized by a combination of central and local regulation, since it is necessary to coordinate
both regional and national interests to implement social, economic, budgetary and taxation policies.
The key objective now is to achieve a balance of central and regional interests and codify them in
legislation. In order to do this, the government must make two key changes. First, it must differentiate
between the functions and authority of different levels of government. Equally importantly, it must
provide all local government tiers with sufficient funding to carry out their assigned tasks.
Powers of regional, district and city councils and hokimiyats are all addressed by the Law on Local
Public Administration; however, the law fails to specify clearly their functions and authority.
Consequently, former administrative methods have been preserved at the local level, in a manner
often contradicting the general strategic approach to reforms. In order to clarify the rights and res-
ponsibilities of local government in solving social and economic issues, legislation on the administrative-
territorial structure must be modified as follows. The number of tiers that supervise regions, districts
and cities should be reduced, the organizational structure of the territorial government should be
simplified and the number of organizations or enterprises subordinated to the local governments
should be increased.
According to legislation, hokims are authorized to make decisions on daily operations and the use of
state-owned property within their territory. Hokims exercise control over the efficient location of
production and social facilities, environmental protection, the rational use of natural and human
resources and state-owned objects.
Regional, city and district administrations are financed from the state budget of Uzbekistan. The
structure of an administration and its departments depends on the size of local government. Small
administrations are organized according to functional principles, whereas large administrations establish
special divisions to address specific issues. Regional administrations are subdivided into various
structural units such as directorates, departments, agencies and divisions. At the oblast level, directorates
are subdivided into departments and groups, with directorates on economy, culture, education,
health care, social security, justice, communal services and others. In addition, these administrations
have a secretariat, an accounts department, a human resource department and an economic department.
Local governments are usually subordinated to higher level governments in carrying out their
administrative functions. Most administrative decisions on district and regional public service delivery
are made from above, following a hierarchy of power starting at the ministry, followed by the chief
regional division, followed by the city or district department. The minister designates heads of
regional divisions in coordination with the regional hokim. The regional division head in turn
appoints heads of territorial departments in coordination with the district or city hokim.
Local government employees are classified as either elected or appointed officials. Hokims, deputy
hokims, committees and commissions are appointed from the members of the local council. These
officials then establish the local executive bodies within the administration. The city hokim drafts a
list of staff for the hokimiyat in coordination with the regional hokim and within budget limits
approved by the local council. The higher executive body determines the organizational structure of
the hokimiyat according to the model presented in figure 9A.1.
The Law on Community Self-government regulates citizen assembly activities. The kengash has a
support office determined by the assembly. The chairman of the assembly is elected for a two and a
half-year term in coordination with the hokim of the respective district or city. The executive
secretary and other employees are hired upon the chairman’s nomination and paid from either
community government or local budget funds.
5. Public Service Provision
5.1 Distribution of Functions
As shown in annex 9.4, the system of public service provision is based on the principles of centralization
and deconcentration. Budgetary organizations such as educational, health care or cultural institutions
are doubly subordinated both to local governments and to their respective ministries. Local
governments generally provide services in the fields of schooling, health care, social security, culture
and leisure, communal services and land improvement.
According to article 41 of the Constitution, every citizen of Uzbekistan has the right to free education.
Schools are supervised by the state, meaning that the central government has the authority to open,
reorganize and close educational institutions. However, local hokimiyats regulate and maintain
secondary schools. School principals are employed or dismissed by the Ministry of Public Education
in coordination with the respective hokim.
Local self-government functions are mainly concentrated in the provision of social services and the
distribution of benefits to low-income inhabitants. In general, the state establishes, reorganizes or
dismantles the social service divisions of local self-governments and regulates their activities. Local
governments also analyze data on inhabitants, organize their registration and determine the amount
of assistance to be provided.
All citizens of Uzbekistan have the right to adequate health care. Free health care includes basic
medical services, such as outpatient services and first aid. Local governments supervise primary
health care institutions, clinics, hospitals, outpatient centers and some other medical institutions in
addition to managing public health within the territory.
In the cultural sphere, local governments administer libraries, museums, cinemas, theaters and other
institutions in their territory. As long as institutions are subordinated to different central, regional
and oblast bodies, local governments will be responsible only for those considered to be of local
importance or those that they established themselves. However, these institutions may only by
reorganized or closed in coordination with the Ministry of Culture.
Economic responsibilities of local governments include communal services such as water, gas, electricity,
heat supply, waste management and maintenance of engineering structures. These services may be
provided by state-owned, joint, municipal, private or other types of companies. Hokimiyats also
sponsor transport and construction projects, administer construction works and maintain local roads.
5.2 Trends in Public Service Provision
In order to build civil society and democracy in Uzbekistan, the government is implementing a long-
term strategy of political, economic and social development. It envisages the creation of a social order
in which a strong central government will focus its efforts on the major functions of national
importance, such as defense, security, law and order, foreign policy, currency, financial and taxation
policies, the adoption of legislation and the pursuit of strategic goals. Other issues are to be gradually
transferred from the central to the local level.
Based on this concept of statehood, central administration powers are slowly being assigned to local
governments. Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers have dissolved the ministries of local industry,
communal economy and communal services and transferred their enterprises to the supervision of
regional hokimiyats. While the state continues to monitor the performance of the production process,
it has handed over branches of industry as well as some social services to local governments.
Local community self-governments have acquired the authority to establish, reorganize and liquidate
small service enterprises. The state actively stimulates the establishment of economic relations and
cooperation zones, through various programs such as the mahalla enterprise, all of which play an
important role in creating relationships between local governments and businessmen. In the past
three years, 174 such zones were created in the country, affecting 409 collectives, small and private
enterprises, workshops and shops and creating 6,500 jobs. The establishment of economic zones in
the Uzbek regions is a promising development, as they contribute to the stabilization of economy by
supplying local markets with different consumer products. At the same time, the proximity of these
enterprises to residences allows mothers to work at home, giving them the opportunity to earn a
steady salary while raising their children, which promotes the general well-being of the population.
The chairmen of the citizen assembly encourages inhabitants to participate voluntarily in improving
local surroundings by planting greenery, maintaining housing, outdoor structures, yards and parks
and constructing and maintaining playgrounds, sports fields, roads, bridges, streets, sidewalks,
historical or cultural monuments, communal facilities and cemeteries. To finance these functions, the
community uses resources allocated by the district or city hokimiyat in addition to own resources.
The chairman of the citizen assembly also registers civil status acts such as birth, death, marriage,
divorce and paternity certificates. If there is no notary in the settlement, chairmen are authorized to
certify wills or proxies (excluding proxies to drive and dispose of vehicles), to undertake measures to
protect inherited property, to certify the authenticity of copies or excerpts of official documents
(excluding copies of education certificates) and to certify the originality of signatures on the documents.
Due to the reduction in GNP, state funding of public services, including health care, diminished through-
out the period of transition. Nevertheless, several innovative educational institutions have recently been
created. A total of 240 lyceums and 136 gymnasiums have been built, the number of specialized schools
has grown by six percent and the number of higher educational institutions has increased by thirty
percent since 1991. Secondary education is available to most children, though there is a trend towards
decreased attendance. The scope of major service provision to the inhabitants is detailed in table 9.1.
Table 9.1
Provision of Major Social Services by Region, 1999
Regions Secondary Hospital Beds Housing Availability of
Schools per 1000 people [m2/person] Natural Gas [%]
Republic of Karakalpakstan 62.3 48.2 14.1 87.6
City of Tashkent 81.4 80.2 17.3 97.0
Andizhan 73.0 65.4 10.0 62.6
Bukhara 85.1 48.5 12.9 85.3
Djizak 68.8 50.4 13.4 71.8
Kashka-Darya 71.7 47.9 12.9 55.0
Navoi 75.6 47.1 14.0 67.4
Namangan 76.8 60.0 11.1 56.2
Samarkand 72.4 57.3 13.8 84.8
Surhan-Darya 71.3 41.8 11.9 57.7
Syr-Darya 79.7 65.7 13.1 84.3
Tashkent 71.9 49.5 13.3 79.5
Ferghana 78.5 63.3 12.7 75.0
Khoresm 79.0 50.2 17.9 90.5
National average 74.8 56.3 13.4 72.9
5.3 Civic and Private Sector Role in Service Delivery
Local governments facilitate the establishment of enterprises, institutions and organizations of different
forms of ownership engaged in public service delivery within the territory. Hokimiyats register enter-
prises, facilitate joint ventures with foreign investors and conclude agreements on the sale and purchase
of products for territorial development or for use by inhabitants. Local governments may also agree
to accept services or payments in kind in lieu of profit tax.
Of the various kinds of enterprises, local governments clearly have the most control over municipal
companies and organizations. The hokim approves provisions on municipal enterprises, institutions
and organizations and appoints their heads if so stipulated by the company charter. These organizations
are mainly financed from the local budget.
Though public services are primarily provided by budget-funded organizations, the private sector
also plays a role. Legislation does not restrict privatization in this sphere. For example, hokimiyats issue
tenders for city transport routes to private companies and most passengers use private transport
services. In addition, local communal service associations are being created to replace former housing
maintenance offices (ZhEKs). Relations between local divisions of the state government and non-
municipally owned organizations are governed by contract. Local governments of large cities may
also establish associations and form partnerships with private companies. In cases such as these,
private companies may receive advantages such as the use of land at lower prices, tax privileges and
other benefits that the local government may choose to grant, depending on the importance of the
service provided. However, it should be noted that tax and other privileges may be granted only for
taxes and fees assigned to the respective local budget.
In order to create a market for medical services and thereby increase their quality, the government has
encouraged the development of paid health care. By 1999, fifty-nine private, self-financing hospitals
were already functioning, with a total of fifteen thousand beds. About three thousand doctors are
licensed to practice medicine privately. Alongside these positive developments, however, there are
many unresolved problems, such as the supply of medicines and the need to reduce morbidity in
rural areas.
Most small companies operating on the territory of local self-governments are private. Their owners
provide services to mahalla residents and manage operations according to mahalla regulations. Local
self-governments are entitled to use the social and economic potential of enterprises located in their
territory in the interests of the resident and of local development. Accordingly, they may grant permission
to enterprises to use natural resources in the local territory if this furthers local interests. In order to
maintain comprehensive development, local governments may do the following:
coordinate the participation of enterprises and organizations in local development;
pool the resources of enterprises, organizations, citizens and local budgets on a voluntary basis
to build, repair and maintain facilities of production and social infrastructure;
conclude agreements with non-municipally owned enterprises on cooperation for the social and
economic development of the territory, for the production of consumer goods and for the
provision of services.
6. Local Finances, Local Property
6.1 Budget and Finance System
According to article 122 of the Constitution, Uzbekistan has an independent financial and monetary
system. At the head of Uzbekistan’s banking system is the Central Bank. The banking system is
regulated by the Law on the Central Bank (1995) and the Law on Banks and Banking (1996).
Uzbekistan also has a Banking and Finance Academy and thirty-three commercial banks with some
eight hundred subsidiaries and divisions. However, no municipal banks currently exist.
The national budget is comprised of the national budget, the budget of the Karakalpak Republic
and local budgets. The national budget consolidates national funds earmarked for specific purposes.
The draft Law on the Budgetary System is under discussion and there is no special law on local public
finances. The key principles of the budgetary system are a unified system of budget classification, a clear
budgetary process and documented budget accounting; conformity of the budget structure to the
administrative-territorial structure of Uzbekistan; correlation of budgets at different levels; a balanced
national budget; itemized planning of public revenues by specific sources and expenditures; and
national budget expenditures within the limits of the approved budgetary allocations.
Over the past few years, Uzbekistan has managed to achieve a growth in GDP and the consolidated
national budget. The national budget includes central government expenditures, while the local
budgets include expenditures of the regional governments, district and city governments as well as
community self-governments. Central and regional government expenditures are stable relative to
GDP and the consolidated national budget, while local community self-government expenditures
have dramatically increased (see table 9.2). Social assistance programs funded through the local
budget include assistance to low-income families, families with children under sixteen and single
mothers with children under two. These programs have been administered by community self-
governments since 1994, 1997 and 1998, respectively. Funding for these programs is established
centrally as part of consolidated budget expenditures, reflected in the local budget and transferred to
the community self-governments. Specific funds for these programs are distributed by local self-
governments in compliance with fixed regulations. As of 2001, community government expenditures
are to be itemized separately in the national budget.
National budget funds are redistributed among budgets of different levels by assigning subventions
and subsidies to lower-level budgets, granting budgetary loans, and channeling budgetary funds to
the higher or lower-level budget through mutual settlement schemes created during budget
implementation. Local budgets enjoy no financial autonomy and are strongly dependent on the
center. The budgetary subventions and subsidies are allotted within the limits of the approved
budgets. There is no special law regulating subventions, which are granted to underdeveloped
regions according to need. Standards for their allocation are subject to change on an annual basis. In
1999, for example, subventions accounted for 35.9 percent of local budget revenues in
Karakalpakstan, 29.6 percent in Djizak, 23.6 percent in Samarkand, 17.3 percent in Namangan,
16.4 percent in Syr-Darya, 14.4 percent in Andizhan and 11.2 percent in Surkhan-Darya. No other
regions received subventions in 1999.
Table 9.2
Correlation of Consolidated National Budget Components
1996 1997 1998 1999
Central government expenditures as a percentage of GDP 17.0 14.0 16.8 14.7
Central government expenditures 46.6 43.6 48.8 45.9
as a percentage of the consolidated budget
Regional government expenditures 53.4 56.4 51.2 54.2
as a percentage of the consolidated budget
Community self-government expenditures 0.47 4.9 6.3 6.7
as a percentage of consolidated budget
Table 9.3
Share of State Subventions in Local Budget Revenues, 1997–1999
1997 1998 1999
[UZS million] [%] [UZS million] [%] [UZS million] [%]
Local budget revenues 168,326 70.1 239,725 74.2 340,574 76.6
state subventions
Local budget revenues 136,704 57.0 186,406 57.7 304,578 68.5
state subventions
State subventions 31,622 13.1 53,319 16.5 35,996 8.1
to local budgets
Other sources 71,651 29.9 83,642 25.8 103,839 23.4
of revenue
Total revenues 239,977 100 323,367 100 444,413 100
6.2 Revenues
Regional funds are comprised of budgetary funds, extra-budgetary funds, special funds, credit,
subventions and subsidies. Local budget revenues are formed of:
local taxes, duties and fees as well as obligatory payments and other non-tax revenues assigned
to local budgets;
national taxes, duties, fees, obligatory payments and other national revenues channeled to
local budgets;
revenues from the allocation or utilization of public property in compliance with legally estab-
lished standards;
funds acquired by the government through succession or gift as prescribed by the legislation;
budgetary subventions, subsidies and loans from higher-level budgets;
donations from legal entities, individuals and foreign states.
By decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance may increase the share of national budget
revenues designated for local budgets in order to fund specific expenditures itemized in the local budget.
Local governments may also form extra-budgetary funds out of voluntary donations from citizens,
organizations and enterprises as well as other extra-budgetary resources. Taxes and other payments
that are to be entered to the budget may not be used for this purpose. Extra-budgetary funds are kept
in special accounts, not be withdrawn except by decision of the appropriate local council or hokim.
Extra-budgetary funds at the regional and national level include territorial development funds,
environmental funds and the social assistance fund for low-income groups. Drastic changes in the
economic situation quite often require rapid administrative response, especially when finances need
to be redistributed. Thus, extra-budgetary funds are managed by the executive branch—unlike
budgetary funds, which are regulated by local council—since the executive branch is able to act with
greater speed and efficiency. The extra-budgetary fund may be used to:
influence the manufacturing process by funding, subsidizing and crediting enterprises;
implement environmental protection measures funded by specifically designated sources and
fines for environmental pollution;
provide social services through providing benefits and pensions and subsidize or fund the
general social infrastructure.
The Karakalpak Republic provides one example of local budget structure. Since implementation of
local budgets follows a standard accounting format, the structure of local budgets is the same
throughout Uzbekistan, though the numbers vary. In Karakalpakstan, VAT forms the major part of
revenues (15.29 percent), followed by corporate income tax (9.92 percent) and personal income tax
(9.27 percent). Since the republic is located at the epicenter of the Aral environmental crisis, it is
notably behind other regions in terms of socio-economic development. Therefore, Karakalpakstan
has been provided with all possible support from the national government, including subventions
amounting to over thirty-five percent of the Karakalpak local budget.
6.3 Expenditures
Local budget expenditures, including those of the Karakalpak Republic, are made within the limits
of the approved allocations in the form of:
current expenditures of public organizations funded through local budgets;
current budgetary transfers;
capital expenditures for the acquisition and repair of fixed assets, capital for public need, the
acquisition of land and other intangible assets for public needs.
Again using the Karakalpak Republic as an example, the largest part of its local budget expenditures
in 1999 went to the social and cultural sphere (49.89 percent). Since the personnel training program
is a national government priority, over thirty-six percent of the local budget is invested in education.
Other important areas of budget funding include health care (12.17 percent), social assistance for
low-income citizens (10.45 percent) and public capital investment (14.97 percent).
6.4 Local Budget Process
As part of the national budgetary system, local budgets are firmly tied to the state budget. Local
governments exercise only nominal authority over local budget resources; in practice, local budget
planning is centralized, with local revenues and expenditures defined by the Ministry of Finance.
Budget policy is frequently aimed at limiting regional independence and supporting vulnerable
regions at the expense of stronger ones. Nonetheless, these policies still preserve a sectoral-specific bias
in allocating production facilities and other factors contributing to underdevelopment in the poorer
regions. In addition, wide disparities in the per capita budgetary funds distributed among regions
create unequal access to basic social services (see Annex 9.3).
Regional budgets do not set aside funds to develop the local economy so as to generate local tax
revenues. Regional hokims are generally uninterested in the issue, although opportunities exist for
organizing facilities to manufacture consumer goods, building materials and art industries. These
facilities could improve the supply of these goods to the local population as well as contribute to local
budgets. However, upon their establishment, the tax rates for funds distributed to local budgets under
the regulated budgetary articles would be immediately applied to these enterprises or industries.
There are no long-term standards for the allocation of funds from the regulated tax items. The depen-
dence of local governments upon central bureaucracy is thus entrenched in the local budget structure.
Local budgets mainly consist of funding from the national budget and local tax revenues. Central
funding distributed to regions includes:
funding through national investment programs earmarked for social and cultural events, social
protection, administrative costs and maintenance;
allocations from national taxes and revenues according to standards established by the government;
subventions allocated from the national budget.
The process of formulating national and local budgets is as follows. According to the terms set by the
Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance issues an annual request to local governments to draft
their budgets for the coming year and file requests for allocations from national targeted funds. This
is sent to regional hokims, the Tashkent hokim and the Karakalpak Cabinet of Ministers. Upon
receipt of this request, these administrations have three days to decide upon drafting procedures.
Within three days of making their decisions, the financial bodies of these administrations likewise
request their subordinate local governments to draft budgets and file requests for budgetary allocations.
The request form for budgetary allocations and procedures for compiling the necessary documentation
are provided by the Uzbek Ministry of Finance.
The deadline for submitting a request for budgetary allocations in the coming year is 1 June of the
current year. The financial departments of district and city hokimiyats must then submit their draft
budgets to higher financial bodies by 25 June. Regional hokimiyats, the Karakalpak Council of
Ministers and the Tashkent administration must submit their draft budgets to the Ministry of
Finance by 1 June. Finally, the national budget for the coming year is drafted by the Ministry of
Finance by 1 October.
The draft national budget contains the following items:
1) revenues and expenditures of the national budget;
2) standards for allocating shares from national tax revenue to local budgets, the amount of local
budget revenues, including budgetary subventions and subsidies, and total local budget
3) the amount of petty cash provided for in local budgets;
4) the amount of the reserve fund of the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers and reserve funds of local
budgets, the ceiling for the national deficit and sources for its financing.
The Uzbek Ministry of Finance must draft a budget message together with various ministries and
organizations and submit it to the Cabinet of Ministers by 1 October. This message contains:
1) a summary of national socio-economic development and estimated figures for the current year;
2) a budget implementation report for the previous year and the forecast of budget implementation
for the current year;
3) key macroeconomic indicators on which the draft budget is based;
4) an outline of the proposed national budgetary and tax policies for next year;
5) data on the status of national debts, foreign and internal, as well as debt-related expenditures;
6) the draft budget for the coming fiscal year.
The Cabinet presents the budget message by 1 November to the National Parliament, which
approves the national budget. Within two weeks, local budgets are adopted by regional councils, the
Tashkent council and the Karakalpak Parliament in compliance with the national budget. City and
district budgets are passed by the appropriate local councils one week later. Budgets of city districts
and cities of raion jurisdiction are adopted by the city or district council, respectively.
Within one week of adopting the national budget, the Ministry of Finance notifies the Karakalpak
Cabinet and regional and Tashkent city hokims of their total budget revenues and expenditures,
subventions, subsidies and other budgetary indicators. Within the same period of time, the State
Committees for Taxation and Customs are also notified of the estimated amounts of national budget
revenues. Within in one week of adopting the local budget, local financial authorities notify local tax
bodies of the approved amounts of revenue for the Karakalpak Republic and local budgets. They
must also notify any organizations funded through the local budgets of their allocated funding.
Local administrations are not authorized to take steps that reduce revenues or increase the expenditures
of the national budget, if the deficit passes over the established limit as a result. During budget
implementation, the council may pass a decision bringing about a reduction of specific types of
budget revenues only if there is a corresponding increase in other revenues or reduction in expenditures.
If council legislation produces decreased expenditures or increased revenues in the local budget, then
the council retains the resulting surplus.
The Uzbek Ministry of Finance and local financial bodies are jointly responsible for executing the
national and local budgets within the established parameters. While executing control over the
implementation of the national budget, the Ministry of Finance and its local divisions review data on
budget implementation at different levels, collect information from the tax and customs authorities
on the receipt of funds by budgets of different levels, request the recipients of budgetary funds to
provide information on the receipt and spending of budgetary allocations and, as prescribed by
legislation, obtain information from banks on the movement of budgetary funds. The Cabinet
reviews national budget implementation reports from the Ministry of Finance on a quarterly basis.
Recipients of local budget funds report to local financial bodies on the use of those allocations over
an accounting period established by the Ministry of Finance. The financial bodies in districts and
cities report on local budget implementation of the city and district budgets over the accounting
period to the appropriate hokims and higher financial bodies. The Karakalpak Ministry of Finance,
Tashkent and regional financial bodies report on the implementation of their budgets over the
accounting period to the Karakalpak Cabinet and the appropriate hokimiyats, respectively, as well as
to the Uzbek Ministry of Finance. The Karakalpak Cabinet and hokims of regions, Tashkent,
districts and cities review and approve of reports on budget implementation and present them to the
Karakalpak Parliament and the appropriate local councils, respectively.
The local tax divisions provide monthly reports to the local financial departments on the receipt of
taxes, duties and other obligatory payments by the budget over the accounting period. The Uzbek
Ministry of Finance reports on the execution of the national budget over the accounting year to the
Uzbek Cabinet by 1 May of the following year. The Cabinet subsequently presents a budget execution
report to Parliament for review and approval by 15 May of the year following the accounting one.
6.5 Tax System, Local Taxes
Uzbekistan has a unified tax system in which the National Parliament has the sole authority to
establish taxes. The Tax Code (1 January 1998) is the primary document regulating the taxation of
individuals and legal entities. The tax system consists of national and local taxes and duties. Local
budget revenues are comprised of fixed and regulated revenue articles. Regulated budget articles
include national taxes such as income tax on legal entities; personal income tax; VAT; excise tax; tax
on subsoil assets; environmental tax; and the tax on water resources. In 1999, Parliament established
a tax rate of fifteen to forty-five percent on income; thirty-three percent on profit; and twenty percent
for VAT.
National taxes are distributed among the national and local budgets according to standards reviewed
annually by the Cabinet and based on proposals drafted by the Ministry of Finance. The range in
regulated rates for local budget taxes is more than wide enough. For instance, the VAT allocated to
local governments ranges from 18.6 percent in the region of Tashkent to 21.1 percent in Tashkent
itself to one hundred percent in the regions of Karakalpakstan, Djizak, Navoi and Surkhan-Darya.
Similarly, revenues from the excise tax in 1999 ranged from ten percent in Ferghana to one hundred
percent in Karakalpakstan, Andizhan, Djizak, Navoi, Surkhan-Darya and Syr-Darya. The enterprise
profit tax was thirty percent in Tashkent, thirty-five percent in Ferghana, and one hundred percent
in others of the above-mentioned regions.
In addition to the regulated revenues articles as described above, the local budget is comprised of
fixed revenues such as local taxes and fees. According to current legislation, local taxes include
property tax, land tax, advertising tax and motor vehicles sales tax. Local fees include the fees for
trading licenses (such as fees for goods-specific licenses), fees to register as a legal entity or individual
engaged in entrepreneurial activities, fees for motor transport parking and fees for urban and rural
development activities.
Property and land taxes are collected nationally; however, their specific tax rates are defined by local
legislation unless otherwise provided by national legislation. Since 1998, a unified land tax has been
introduced for agricultural enterprises. This tax is payable on an annual basis according to year-end
results at rates defined according to parameters measuring the quality of the land. Thirty percent of
this tax goes to the central budget, while the remaining seventy percent goes to the local budget. The
remaining local taxes and duties are introduced by local councils. Other tax rates (except for the
property tax, whose rate has been fixed at four percent by the tax code) are subject to annual review
by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Although local taxes represent a small portion of local budget revenues, their importance is not
limited to the role of a revenue source for the budget, as they also serve to control distributional
relations. Since taxable items include land plots, property, vehicles and other items, taxation helps
account for these items and monitor their purchase and utilization.
Although the amended Law on Bankruptcy was approved on 28 August 1998, it does not apply to
enterprises, institutions and organizations funded from the national budget. In case of a temporary
gap between revenues and expenditures of budgets of different levels over the financial year, budgetary
loans may be issued out of the relevant budgets. The limits and procedures for allocating budgetary
loans are established by the Ministry of Finance. Overall, local budget expenditures account for a
larger share than the national budget expenditures in the total volume of the national budget.
Table 9.4
Relative Size of Local Budget Expenditures and Central Government Expenditures,
1996 1997 1998 1999
[UZS [%] [UZS [%] [UZS [%] [UZS [%]
billion] billion] billion] billion]
National budget 94.7 46.6 138.2 43.6 228.6 48.8 301.8 45.9
Local budget 108.6 53.4 179.0 56.4 240.1 51.2 356.9 54.2
Total national 203.3 100.0 307.2 100.0 486.7 100.0 658.7 100.0
Analysis of the current system of local financial and fiscal management reveals the following negative
There is a failure to comply with the principle of guaranteed minimum per capita budget
allocations to regions (see table 9A.1);
The size of local budgets does not meet the needs for local economic development in those
regions with the largest concentration of natural economic potential: Tashkent, Kashka-Darya,
Samarkand, Navoi and the densely populated regions of the Ferghana valley;
The system of determining budget revenues and expenditures does not correspond with the
scale and efficiency of manufacturing. Seventy percent of regions cannot balance their budgets,
hindering normal economic development and the functioning of the social sphere, particularly
health, education and cultural facilities;
Standards for allocating funds to local budgets are reviewed annually and do not take full
account of the regional situation and its peculiarities;
Long-term standards have not been developed for allocating funds to maintain social facilities,
in contradiction to the principles of local self-governance and democratization;
Subventions are generally determined on a subjective basis and do not develop the structure
of regional production. Rather than being targeted, subventions are generally issued to the
underdeveloped regions, which then use them inefficiently.
Since regions are divided into donor and recipient regions, the wealthy regions tend to exert
pressure upon the central government, which is illegal in a democratized government;
The various extra-budgetary funds are used inefficiently by regions; they are structured according
to a sectoral approach and lack coordination or control by national and local administrations;
The low technical level and deteriorated condition of municipal property and facilities necessi-
tates increasing expenditures for maintenance, appreciation and the low quality of goods and
6.6 Legal Forms of Ownership
In the process of economic reform in Uzbekistan, there was no abrupt transition from public and
collective forms of ownership, such as farm cooperatives, to private forms. Rather, it was decided that
a solid legal framework and favorable socio-economic conditions for privatization must first be
established. The adoption of the Property Law in 1990 marked the first step towards legalizing a
diversity of forms of ownership. However, most provisions of this law have since become outdated
and require significant revision.
Other legislation regulating property ownership includes the Uzbek Civil Code, which took effect
on 1 March 1997. According to article 164 of the Civil Code, the right to ownership is the right of
an individual to own, use and dispose of property at his or her own discretion and in his or her
interest. Individuals have the right to demand the elimination of any infringement on their right to
ownership regardless of who is responsible. Article 213 of the Civil Code outlines a concept of public
property which includes both national and municipal property.
In Uzbekistan, the land, subsoil assets, water and air space, animal and vegetable life are the exclusive
property of the state, by article 214 of the Civil Code. The purchase or sale of natural assets is not
allowed by legislation.
The issue of land ownership is central to the agricultural economy and, since sixty percent of the
population is rural, decisive for the entire Uzbek economy. Because of the particular climate conditions
in Uzbekistan, most land suitable for cultivation must be irrigated. The nature of precipitation, the
soils and the unequal distribution of water resources all render individual farming difficult, calling
instead for the organized efforts of large communities. Since the purchase and sale of land would
disable the unified irrigation system, it was decided to retain land in public ownership. Market
relations in rural areas are based on lifelong, inherited ownership of land plots together with the right
to utilize them (article 165 of the Civil Code, article 5 of the Law on Peasants’ Enterprises, article 10
of the Law on Land). However, plots with trading facilities may be sold on a competitive basis,
according to a presidential decree issued on 21 January 1994.
In addition to natural assets, other property and enterprises are publicly owned due to strategic
considerations or their value as institutions of historical and cultural heritage. The Parliamentary
Resolution on Issues of Denationalization and Privatization of Some Enterprises and Property,
issued 31 August 1995, lists items that are not subject to denationalization, privatization or buy-out
and transfer to private property. It also defines property and enterprises which may be denationalized
and privatizated by Cabinet decision.
According to article 214 of the Civil Code, national property is managed by Parliament, the president
and the Cabinet of Ministers or agencies that they authorize. Presently, the State Committee for
Public Property Management and Support for Entrepreneurial Activity has government authority
to perform these tasks, as specified in the Cabinet Resolution of 29 March 1994.
According to article 215 of the Civil Code, municipal property includes assets belonging to the local
administrations, local budget funds, municipal housing stock, communal service enterprises and
facilities for education, culture and health care. Regional property may also consist of local engineering
infrastructure; enterprises and organizations established or purchased from regional funds (including
sharing arrangements) or transferred from other sources; and securities and financial assets. District
and city property includes assets of the respective local council, budget funds, extra-budgetary
funds and earmarked funds.
The Law on Local Public Administration, among other legislation, regulates management of local
property as well as assets of higher-level governments that have been transferred to the management
of local authorities. Assets in the ownership of regions, cities and districts are managed by the appropriate
local councils and hokims. Legal entities may also be licensed to manage nationally or municipally
owned assets. City or district hokims have the authority, following established procedures and local
standards, to lease or allot land plots for the use of citizens or public enterprises as well as to terminate
the right of these entities to hold these plots and confiscate the land. The decisions are subject to
approval by the appropriate local council.
Consequently, municipal property is legally recognized as the wealth, or share in national assets,
belonging to the local population and should serve its interests. Local governments have authority
over the establishment, acquisition, utilization and lease of municipal assets. The particular municipal
assets of a specific territorial unit are determined by the characteristics of its socio-economic develop-
ment, its size and other factors. Due to the lack of reliable statistics, it is not possible to detail here the
number of assets in municipal ownership or enterprises controlled by the local governments.
Although the creation of municipal property is closely related to the process of privatization, local
government bodies, particularly in cities of district jurisdiction, have no significant influence upon
privatization processes and are therefore deprived of the opportunity to protect local interests in this
field. Local governments have the right to pursue small scale local privatization programs, but this is
relatively insignificant and pertains only to a short list of assets including distribution, public catering
and service facilities.
7. Relationship between the State Administration
and Local Government
Uzbekistan has an established presidential form of administration, with all central power concentrated
in the hands of the president. The Office of the President and the Cabinet of Ministers exercise
control over compliance with presidential decrees and cabinet resolutions. Local administrative
powers are exercised by local representative and executive bodies. Local councils and hokimiyats are
responsible for ensuring social and economic development in their territories and compliance with
the Constitution, laws, acts of Oliy Majlis, the president and government of Uzbekistan.
The nature of relationships between different tiers of government varies between the executive and
representative branches. The executive branch is characterized by a centralized hierarchy and strict
vertical subordination. District and city hokims represent the regional hokim, who in turn represents
the president. Hence, regional hokimiyats have authority over district ones and district hokimiyats
over rural and city governments.
Local representative bodies are not so closely related to the national legislative body, the Oliy Majlis.
Nor is there subordination between councils; for instance, city and district councils are independent
of regional ones. Representative bodies operate through sessions and standing and provisional
commissions and may organize public hearings. They have the right to question council members,
whereas executive bodies are based on the principle of undivided authority.
There is a recognized need for the phased decentralization of administrative authority in Uzbekistan.
Some central government authorities are gradually being transferred to regions and local governments.
At the same time, the central government is attempting to preserve efficiency of government operations
in general. In addition, local divisions of central government are to increase the role of local governments
by delegating additional competencies and functions.
Current Uzbek legislation specifies the accountability of hokims on issues related to local council
jurisdiction. Local councils and hokims have the right to demand that decisions of the other be
annulled if they contradict legislation. However, such cases are quite rare in practice. Mutual under-
standing between the local councils and hokims is considered to be decisive and their cooperation
the basis of efficiency and stability. Forms of cooperation include informing each other about their
activities, on the current situation and on the progress of implementing decisions.
It is essential to analyze the status of relations between branches of power in different districts and
cities and their joint response to the misunderstandings which occasionally occur. Once again, this
requires clear legal regulation of the relationships between the branches and tiers of power. Inspectorates
and committees of constitutional supervision at the regional level currently exercise control over the
appropriateness of local government decisions.
Despite their ever increasing role, in practice local governments are only able to manage their daily
administration and economic functions partially from their allocated funds. Their responsibility to
support comprehensive local development is not backed by real ownership rights over regional
property or actual management of funds or material, technical and natural resources. Their hands are
tied by their lack of authority to solve strategic development issues, such as establishing an efficient
branch structure and determining the direction and priorities of local social development.
The imperfect territorial administration of the economy is mainly the result of centralized government.
Territorial administration is characterized by direct influence in the form of centralized capital investments
from the national budget or ministerial funds. Rarely are these investments effective for the transformation
of territories. Budget funds are nominally distributed by regions, but are in fact distributed among
ministries. Since local taxes form a small share of revenues, local budgets are dependent on central decisions.
The most important task facing the government is the improvement of the middle tier of local
government. Regional governments technically possess the necessary instruments by law to influence
social and economic processes while taking into consideration their specific conditions. However,
this distribution of authorities is not reflected by current realities. Local divisions of different ministries
and state committees function based on sectoral subordination and their central offices do not always
coordinate with local governments. Though most local government functions are legally established,
they are not clearly specified for different tiers.
Currently, interaction between different levels of government follows long established rules, both
unwritten and official, which dictate strict vertical subordination. The regulatory role of the state is
only increasing, not diminishing, with the development of democracy. It is necessary to clarify the
legal relationships between hokimiyats and local councils, between administrations of different tiers
and between local governments and enterprises. Direct interference in the activities of local
governments would consequently be replaced with a legal framework for cooperation.
8. Local Government Employees
The Constitution of Uzbekistan proclaims the right of each citizen to work, equal employment
opportunity and just labor conditions. Currently there is no special law regarding the public service
system and status of government employees. Labor relations are regulated by the Labor Code of
Uzbekistan, adopted on 21 December 1995, and other legislation. The legal basis for the activities
of local government officials is established in the Law on Local Public Administration. According to
this law, the hokim, deputy hokims and other local government officials are prohibited from
occupying any other paid position while in office.
A model hokimiyat organizational chart is shown in figure 9A.1. The first deputy and other deputy
hokims in districts and cities are appointed by the hokim in coordination with higher government
bodies. As a rule, they are selected from the members of the local council. Hokim and hokimiyat
departments are responsible for the employment and training of local government staff. Employees
are hired through open competition. Government employee salaries are based on norms established
by the government for budget organizations. The government periodically establishes a minimum
salary, which is used as the baseline for salary calculation. Factors that determine monthly salary include
the staff list, the professional grade and the category of employee, all of which depend on the level of
education, experience and other qualifications. Full-time employees have the right to paid vacation.
The length of working hours, paid vacation and other social guarantees are established by law. Political
considerations do not prevail with regard to government officials. The office of regional, district or city
hokimiyat provides organizational, technical and other support to the activities of a respective local
Government employees are assessed every three to five years. Additional assessments may be conducted
in certain circumstances, such as the need to restructure or downsize staff. For purposes of assessment,
the employees must complete official forms, which are currently under development. In addition, an
assessment commission established by a higher level of government may question the employees on
politics, the economy, legislation and other subjects. At the conclusion of this process, the commission
may assign one of three grades: positive, negative or conditional. If positive, the employee continues
work as usual; if negative, the commission may request his or her dismissal; if conditional, the employee
undergoes a probation period, typically three to six months, at the end of which a final performance
review is conducted. Government employees are expected to upgrade their qualifications regularly.
They may receive training at the Academy of Public Administration, under the auspices of the
Office of the President, as well as at a number of other educational institutions.
9. Legal Guarantees for Local Autonomy
According to article 7 of the Constitution, the authority of the state is exercised exclusively by the
bodies authorized in legislation. Appropriation of unauthorized powers, the establishment or
termination of government body activities in contradiction to constitutional procedures or the
creation of new or parallel structures all violate the Constitution and are subject to legal account-
ability. The consent of Parliament is required for creating or dissolving regions, districts or cities and
for any amendment to the boundaries of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions or the city of
The Constitution of Karakalpakstan contains special features pertinent to local autonomy. According
to article 73 of the Uzbek Constitution, the Republic of Karakalpakstan independently decides on
issues of its internal administrative-territorial composition. It also has the right to secede from the
Republic of Uzbekistan through a general referendum of Karakalpak citizens. Mutual relations
between Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan are regulated by memoranda and bilateral agreements,
while disputes between the two are to be resolved through arbitration.
According to article 93 of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, the president is the guarantor of human
rights and freedoms and the laws of Uzbekistan. Other legal guarantees and mechanisms to protect
local autonomy have not been established. According to the Constitution, regional, district or city
hokims exercise their authorities on the principle of undivided authority for a five-year term. However,
this mandate may be extended or prematurely terminated based on performance. Hokims bear
personal responsibility for the decisions and activities of the bodies which they head.
In times of crisis due to the poor performance or abuse of power by the regional government, such
as a decline in regional social and economic indices or a shortage of food or services, the central
government can suspend local administration activities. In this case, the local council convenes in an
extraordinary session at which the president of Uzbekistan proposes the dismissal of the current
hokim and nominates a replacement for the council’s approval. Recently such sessions have been
held in the regions of Ferghana, Kashka-Darya and Surkhan-Darya. Typically, the hokim is said to
be leaving “due to the transfer to another position.” The president also has the right to dismiss
district and city hokims from office if they violate the Constitution or national legislation or if their
acts discredit the honor and dignity of their position. Thus far there have been no cases of presidential
dismissal, although some district and city hokims have been dismissed by higher levels of government.
The activities of the hokim may be appealed in the court by citizens, institutions or organizations.
The Attorney General of Uzbekistan, appointed by the president, is responsible for control over
clear and uniform compliance to legislation nationwide. The Attorney General appoints regional,
district and city attorneys to monitor the legality of activities in all government structures, including
hokimiyats. Hokim decisions which contradict the Constitution, legislation, presidential and
government decrees, or which are otherwise appealed by the attorney shall be reviewed by the hokim
or annulled by either the superior hokim or the Cabinet of Ministers.
Disputes between organizations or enterprises of different forms of ownership arising over economic
or management-related issues shall be resolved by the Supreme Economic Court and other economic
courts. However, no such court proceedings between the administrations of different levels have yet
taken place in Uzbekistan.
10. Next Steps in the Transition Process
The establishment of efficient central and local government bodies in Uzbekistan is still in progress.
Problems remaining to be addressed in the existing structure of local administration include the
There is no systematic approach or clear differentiation of central and local government functions;
There is no clear coordination between central and local governments in addressing urgent
social and economic regional issues;
Due to limited financial and material resources, local administrations lack the ability to influence
the social and economic situation or make independent decisions about their activities in inter-
national markets or on broadening their export potential;
The organizational mechanism for the integration of regions has not yet been established;
There is no system for the rational placement of industrial enterprises at the national or regional
The system of dual subordination and the organizational structure of territorial governments
need to be reviewed in light of new goals such as administrative decentralization and liberalization.
Local government functions must be expanded and sufficient local autonomy granted before further
reforms can be fully implemented. Broader rights and opportunities correspondingly mean more
responsibility to the state and society for decision making and implementation in all spheres of
regional life. In order to provide adequate authority and opportunities for local governments to
actively influence the process of market transformation, the following steps should be taken:
to develop a concept for gradually transferring certain central government authorities to local
self-governments and NGOs;
to formulate an action program to implement the concept “from a strong state to a strong civil
to implement budgetary reform that clearly differentiates budget authorities between the
center and the regions;
to adopt a Law on Budget Composition which establishes democratic procedures for developing
national and local budgets;
to significantly increase the role of local budgets in the consolidated national budget so that it
corresponds to the distribution of functions between the two.
Improving government activities at every tier is one of the most important and comprehensive issues
facing Uzbekistan. This will determine the character of citizen-state relations, the successful
performance of government functions and the fulfillment of urgent tasks of social and economic
development throughout the country. In addition, serious legislative efforts are required to restore
the balance of powers between different branches. The current balance of power is heavily weighted
in favor of the executive branch, which negates the principle of equilibrium and mutual control. It
is necessary to improve legislation on local government to strengthen the role of local councils and
expand their control functions. Although local government should undoubtedly be based on a
strong local executive branch, this does not require that local representative bodies be weak. A strong,
united local government is needed, one which utilizes both branches.
Recent Publications on Local Government in Uzbekistan
Human Development Report Uzbekistan, 1999. Tashkent: UNDP Office, 2000.
Karimov, I. A. Uzbekistan: nationalnaya nezavisimost, economika, politika, ideologiya, Tom 1. [Uzbekistan:
National Independence, Economy, Policy and Ideology, Vol. 1]. Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1996.
Karimov, I. A. Uzbekistan na poroge XXI veka. [Uzbekistan on the Threshold of the Twenty-First
Century]. Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1997.
Karimov, R. K. et al. Uzbekskaya model postroyeniya osnov rynochnoy economiki. [The Uzbek Model
for Building the Basis for a Market Economy]. Tashkent: Institute for Macroeconomic and Social
Research at the Ministry of Macroeconomy and Statistics of Uzbekistan, 1999.
Khalilov, E. “Rol’ organov samoupravleniya grazhdan v stroitelstve pravovogo gosudarstva. Journal.”
[The Role of Self-governments in the Construction of a Lawful State]. In Obshestvenniye nauki v
Uzbekistane [Public Sciences in Uzbekistan], Nos. 1–2, 1999.
Umarova K.U. “Organizatsiya gosudarstvennoy vlasti v Respublike Karakalpakstan i voprosy ee
sovershenstvovaniya.” [The Organization of Government Power in the Republic of Karakalpakstan
and its Improvement]. In Obshestvenniye nauki v Uzbekistane, Nos. 8–9, 1999.
Contacts for Further Information on Local Government in Uzbekistan:
Department of Inter-parliamentary Relations
Parliament of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Address: Druzhby Narodov Avenue, Tashkent 700035, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-71) 139-8570, 139-8746
Fax: (+998-71) 139-8267
Academy of Public Administration
Office of the President of Uzbekistan
Address: 45 Uzbekistanskaya St., Tashkent 700033, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-71) 139-1783
Fax: (+998-71) 152-6731
Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan
Address: Mustakyllik Square, Tashkent 700000, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-71) 139-8292
Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan
Information and Legal Center
Address: 2 Sayilgokh St., Tashkent 700000, Uzbekistan
State Committee of Uzbekistan on State Property Management
and Support for Entrepreneurial Activity
Address: 55 Uzbekiston Shokh Kuzhasy, Tashkent 700003, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-71) 139-4446
Fax: (+998-71) 139-1484
Ministry of Macroeconomics and Statistics of Uzbekistan
Institute for Macroeconomic and Social Research
Address: 1 Gogol St., Tashkent 700000, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-71) 133-0937
Karakalpak Branch of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan
Institute for Social and Economic Research
Address: 179a Amir Temur St., Nukus 742000, Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-61) 217-2210
Address: 29A Afrosiob Avenue, Tashkent 700000, Uzbekistan
Phone: (+998-71) 152-6731, 152-6694
Fax: (+998-71) 152-6731
Glossary of Uzbek Terms
Aul The equivalent of kishlak, or rural settlement, in Kazakh, Karakalpak or Tatar.
Aqsaqal Chairman of the mahalla self-government.
Hokim The chairman of the local council and head of local administration.
Hokimiyat The executive branch of local governments.
Kengash Committee elected to head the mahalla self-government.
Kishlak A rural settlement which may include many neighboring localities and is
represented by an assembly of its citizens.
Kotib Secretary of the mahalla self-government.
Mahalla A community of people residing in a localized area; these may range from 150
to 1,500 families.
Makan-kenes’es City mahallas in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
Muovin Deputy chairman of the mahalla self-government.
Oliy Majlis “Supreme Council,” or Parliament, the highest legislative body in Uzbekistan.
Zhokargy Kenes The Supreme Council of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
Annex 9.1
Major General Indicators
Size of territory 448,900 square kilometers
Population (1 January 2000) 24,487,700
Pensioners 1,735,000
School-age children 9,714,000
Population density 54.5 people per square kilometer
Major ethnic divisions:
Uzbeks 77 percent
Russians 6 percent
Tajiks 5 percent
Kazakhs 4 percent
Karakalpaks 2 percent
Per capita GDP (1998) USD 2,053
Public debt as a percentage of GDP (1999) 0.6 percent
Unemployment rate (registered) 0.5 percent
Average monthly average inflation 1.9 percent
(according to Consumer Price Index)
Exchange rate (19 January 1999) 1USD = 110.95 Uzbek sums [UZS]
Annex 9.2
Population, Settlements and Administrative Tiers
Table 9A.1
Per Capita Social and Economic Indicators by Region, 1999 [thousand UZS]
Regions Share of GDP Industrial Production Agri- Retail Service
National Production Production of cultural Trade Industry
Budget Consumer Production Turnover
Republic of 9.3 51.9 18.2 14.3 18.1 24.2 3.4
Andizhan 9.6 71.9 59.5 43.9 39.8 54.2 6.4
Bukhara 16.4 99.3 54.9 33.7 47.3 36.1 7.4
Djizak 6.6 60.1 13.1 6.8 44.2 19.7 4.0
Kashka-Darya 10.4 63.2 45.0 15.2 31.7 30.9 3.6
Navoi 23.3 100.8 157.4 16.4 37.3 37.5 6.0
Namangan 8.0 50.7 22.7 16.6 28.9 31.8 3.6
Samarkand 8.3 63.6 33.8 36.2 36.7 39.8 5.2
Surkhan-Darya 7.6 57.1 19.8 12.5 37.0 25.5 3.9
Syr-Darya 13.2 77.0 26.4 19.7 47.0 33.0 3.0
Tashkent 13.3 81.4 64.1 25.7 41.6 45.0 6.2
Ferghana 14.7 79.9 57.0 27.0 32.5 60.9 4.7
Khoresm 12.5 80.9 32.6 24.8 55.0 32.9 6.5
City of Tashkent 34.8 142.6 86.8 51.4 — 136.6 25.8
National average 13.3 84.2 53.6 26.9 34.2 47.2 7.9
Standard deviation 5.3 2.8 12.0 7.6 3.0 6.9 8.6
Table 9A.2
Urban Settlements by Population Size Categories in Uzbekistan (1 January 2000)
Population Size Category Number of Percentage of Number of Percentage of
Settlements Settlements Inhabitants Total Population
0–3,000 11 4.7 21,200 0.2
3,000–5,000 18 7.7 75,500 0.8
5,000–10,000 47 20.2 349,500 3.8
10,000–20,000 72 30.9 1,000,400 10.9
20,000–50,000 54 23.2 1,540,200 16.8
50,000–100,000 14 6.0 866,400 9.5
100,000–250,000 13 5.6 2,095,200 22.9
250,000–500,000 3 1.3 1,081,600 11.8
1,000,000+ 1 0.4 2,135,500 23.3
Total 233 100.0 9,165,500 100.0
Table 9A.3
Rural Settlements by Population Size Categories in Uzbekistan (1 January 2000)
Population Size Category Number of [%] Population [%]
Rural Districts Size
0–3,000 — —
3,000–5,000 1 0.6 3,800 0.0
5,000–10,000 1 0.6 6,300 0.0
10,000–20,000 4 2.4 63,500 0.4
20,000–50,000 28 17.1 952,500 6.3
50,000–100,000 59 36.0 4,594,600 30.5
100,000–250,000 71 43.3 9,455,500 62.7
Total 164 100.0 15,076,200 100.0
Table 9A.4
Administrative-territorial Structure in Uzbekistan
Local and Regional Average Number Average Number of
Governments of Inhabitants per Unit Settlements per Unit
First tier 39,500 1
(cities, towns and village)
Second tier (districts) 148,800 10.3
Third tier (regions and the 1,743,400 120.6
Republic of Karakalpakstan)
Deputy hokim,
head of control
Deputy hokim
for social protection
of families, mothers
and children.
Also acts as chair-
man of women’s
Deputy hokim
for general
economic issues.
Also head
of department
of economics and
First deputy
hokim for
agriculture and
water resources
Deputy hokim for
production, trade
and communal
housing, transport
and communication
Deputy hokim
for employment,
support for
activity and
social issues
Hokim Assistant
Chief specialist Chief specialist
Chief specialist Chief specialist Chief specialist Department of
economy and
Office manager
1-st category specialist
Head of administrative and
employment group
1-st category specialist
Chief accountant
Figure 9A.1
Sample Structure of a Rural Hokimiyat
Figure 9A.2
Administrative Map of Uzbekistan
Syr-Darya Ferghana
Annex 9.3
Major Laws on Public Administration and Local Government
The following laws are listed in the order of adoption:
Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan (8 December 1992). Tashkent, Uzbekistan,
1992: p. 48.
Constitution of the Republic of Karakalpakstan (adopted 9 April 1993, amended in 1995
and 1997). Nukus, Karakalpakstan, 1998: p. 63.
Law on the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan (May 6, 1993), Vedomosti (bulletin) of the
Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 5, 1993: p. 202.
Law on Ownership in Uzbekistan (7 May 7 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of
Uzbekistan No. 8, 1993: p. 235.
Law on Local Taxes and Duties (7 May 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of
Uzbekistan No. 5: p. 227.
Law on Local Public Administration (2 September 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council
of Uzbekistan No. 9, 1993: p. 320.
Provision on Mahalla Committees in the Cities, Towns and Kishlaks of Uzbekistan. Tashkent,
Civil Code of Uzbekistan (effective 1 March 1997)
Law on Presidential Elections (amended by subsequent laws passed on 26 December 1997
and 19 August 1999)
Law on Elections to the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan (amended by subsequent laws passed on 26
December 1997 and 19 August 1999)
Law on Elections to Regional, District and City Councils (amended by subsequent laws
passed on 26 December 1997 and 19 August 1999)
Law of the Republic of Karakalpakstan on the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan (29
January 1998)
Law on Community Self-governments (14 April 1999)
Annex 9.4
Responsibilities of Administrative Tiers
Table 9A.5
Specific Functions of Government Tiers in Uzbekistan
Functions District Regional Central Remarks
and City Administration Administration
1. Pre-school
2. Elementary X
3. Secondary X
4. Technical X X
5. Refresher courses X X
for teachers
1. Nurseries X
2. Kindergartens X
3. Welfare homes X X
4. Services for elder X X Also self-
and disables people governments
5. Special services (for families X Also self-
in crisis, homeless, etc.) governments
6. State housing X
1. Primary health care X X
2. Health protection X X X Also privately
3. Hospitals X X X*Special
4. Public health system X
Table 9A.5 (continued)
Specific Functions of Government Tiers in Uzbekistan
Functions District Regional Central Remarks
and City Administration Administration
1. Theaters X X X*State theaters
2. Museums X X X*State museums
3. Libraries X X X*State libraries
4. Parks X
5. Sports, leisure X X X
6. Maintaining buildings X Also by self-
for cultural events governments
7. Monuments protection X X X
1. Water supply X X
2. Sewage X X
3. Electricity X X
4. Gas X X
5. District heating X
1. Waste collection X
2. Waste disposal X
3. Streets cleaning X
4. Cemeteries X
5. Environment protection X X X*Particularly
relevant in the
Aral Sea region
Table 9A.5 (continued)
Specific Functions of Government Tiers in Uzbekistan
Functions District Regional Central Remarks
and City Administration Administration
1. Town planning X X
2. Regional/spatial planning X X
3. Local economic X X Also self-
development governments
4. Tourism X X X
5. Roads X X X*Of state
1. Authoritative functions X X X
2. Other state administrative X X X
3. Local police X X X
4. Fire brigades X X
5. Civil defense X X X
6. Consumer rights protection X X
The challenges facing local government and audit, control and supervision systems (ACSS) in the 21st century are complex and rapidly changing. This book discusses why the present paradigm of the treatment of the ACSS of local government cannot be a reliable means of contemporary good governance anymore. This book also presents and discusses a principally new theoretical approach to the audit, control and supervision model of the local government sector. Even though the author’s research is based on the case of Estonia, known as a small constitutional democratic liberal society with an open economy, it is not country-specific. The local government’s situation does not depend only on the political order, degree of democracy, liberalism or welfare of a country. The flexible and multivalent approach presented in this book gives a good possibility of designing, implementing and maintaining a suitable solution for the ACSS of a local government sector in any society. This book is useful and interesting reading for politicians, researchers, students and public administrators all over the world.
This study examines gap—traditional reciprocal associations common in Central Asia. Gap is an unofficial, regular get-together of people of similar age bound by socially acknowledged ties. The study argues that gap represents a communal type of civil society featuring many differences from analogous groups in Western liberal societies. Gap may effect social consciousness and facilitate mobilisation. The study also analyses modern forms of gap such as joint savings funds, female-only get-togethers, and internet-based gap.
Tashkent: Institute for Macroeconomic and Social Research at the Ministry of Macroeconomy and Statistics of Uzbekistan
  • R K Karimov
Karimov, R. K. et al. Uzbekskaya model postroyeniya osnov rynochnoy economiki. [The Uzbek Model for Building the Basis for a Market Economy]. Tashkent: Institute for Macroeconomic and Social Research at the Ministry of Macroeconomy and Statistics of Uzbekistan, 1999.
Uzbekistan: nationalnaya nezavisimost, economika, politika, ideologiya
  • I A Karimov
Karimov, I. A. Uzbekistan: nationalnaya nezavisimost, economika, politika, ideologiya, Tom 1. [Uzbekistan: National Independence, Economy, Policy and Ideology, Vol. 1]. Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1996.
Organizatsiya gosudarstvennoy vlasti v Respublike Karakalpakstan i voprosy ee sovershenstvovaniya
  • K U Umarova
Umarova K.U. "Organizatsiya gosudarstvennoy vlasti v Respublike Karakalpakstan i voprosy ee sovershenstvovaniya." [The Organization of Government Power in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and its Improvement].
Rol' organov samoupravleniya grazhdan v stroitelstve pravovogo gosudarstva
  • E Khalilov
Khalilov, E. "Rol' organov samoupravleniya grazhdan v stroitelstve pravovogo gosudarstva. Journal." [The Role of Self-governments in the Construction of a Lawful State].
Uzbekistan na poroge XXI veka
  • I A Karimov
Karimov, I. A. Uzbekistan na poroge XXI veka. [Uzbekistan on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century]. Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1997.
Nukus, Karakalpakstan, 1998: p. 63. • Law on the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan Vedomosti (bulletin) of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No
Major Laws on Public Administration and Local Government The following laws are listed in the order of adoption: • Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan (8 December 1992). Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 1992: p. 48. • Constitution of the Republic of Karakalpakstan (adopted 9 April 1993, amended in 1995 and 1997). Nukus, Karakalpakstan, 1998: p. 63. • Law on the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan (May 6, 1993), Vedomosti (bulletin) of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 5, 1993: p. 202. • Law on Ownership in Uzbekistan (7 May 7 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 8, 1993: p. 235. • Law on Local Taxes and Duties (7 May 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 5: p. 227. • Law on Local Public Administration (2 September 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 9, 1993: p. 320. • Provision on Mahalla Committees in the Cities, Towns and Kishlaks of Uzbekistan. Tashkent, 1993. • Civil Code of Uzbekistan (effective 1 March 1997)
• Provision on Mahalla Committees in the Cities, Towns and Kishlaks of Uzbekistan. Tashkent, 1993. • Civil Code of Uzbekistan (effective 1 March 1997) • Law on Presidential Elections (amended by subsequent laws passed on 26
Major Laws on Public Administration and Local Government The following laws are listed in the order of adoption: • Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan (8 December 1992). Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 1992: p. 48. • Constitution of the Republic of Karakalpakstan (adopted 9 April 1993, amended in 1995 and 1997). Nukus, Karakalpakstan, 1998: p. 63. • Law on the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan (May 6, 1993), Vedomosti (bulletin) of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 5, 1993: p. 202. • Law on Ownership in Uzbekistan (7 May 7 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 8, 1993: p. 235. • Law on Local Taxes and Duties (7 May 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 5: p. 227. • Law on Local Public Administration (2 September 1993), Vedomosti of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan No. 9, 1993: p. 320. • Provision on Mahalla Committees in the Cities, Towns and Kishlaks of Uzbekistan. Tashkent, 1993. • Civil Code of Uzbekistan (effective 1 March 1997) • Law on Presidential Elections (amended by subsequent laws passed on 26 December 1997 and 19 August 1999) • Law on Elections to the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan (amended by subsequent laws passed on 26 December 1997 and 19 August 1999) • Law on Elections to Regional, District and City Councils (amended by subsequent laws passed on 26 December 1997 and 19 August 1999) • Law of the Republic of Karakalpakstan on the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan (29 January 1998) • Law on Community Self-governments (14 April 1999)