Before discussing the agenda, the Head of the state again addressed people.
– Today the whole world and humanity are going through difficult times. All measures are being taken in Uzbekistan to stabilize the epidemiological situation and fully protect the health of the population.
The number of detected cases of coronavirus infection has reached 221. Unfortunately, despite the provided medical assistance, two patients died. On my own behalf and on behalf of all our people, I express my deep condolences to their families and relatives, wish them patience and strength.
100 thousand people have been quarantined. At the same time, almost 13 thousand of our citizens have been returned to the country, who are also under quarantine. A quarantine zone is being created in Tashkent region that can accommodate 10 thousand people. More than 2.2 thousand citizens who returned from abroad have already been placed here.
2 virology hospitals with 10 thousand beds are being built in Zangiata district. In the coming days, buildings for 2 thousand beds will be put into operation.
To date, 245,000 tests and about 700,000 protective equipment have been imported and delivered to medical institutions. The activity continues.
Diagnosis and treatment, quarantine measures are carried out based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and best foreign experience. Qualified doctors from South Korea have arrived and are involved in treatment of patients. A group of Chinese specialists is expected to arrive.
In addition, our doctors are conducting constant video communication with foreign colleagues and exchanging experience.
It should be noted that systemic measures are yielding results. 25 patients were fully recovered and transferred to rehabilitation.
Taking this opportunity, once again I express my deep gratitude to our selfless and noble doctors who have shown courage and perseverance in the forefront of this struggle.
I am grateful to our people and my dear compatriots who understand the situation correctly and actively support us.
At the same time, we have to state with great regret that, despite all warnings and explanations, quarantine rules in some places continue to be violated.
To date, more than 22 thousand such cases have been identified, 330 people have escaped from quarantine zone. Nothing can justify the fact that during the quarantine period, some irresponsible individuals held 24 various ceremonies with mass participation of people. Strict measures will be taken against this recklessness that endanger the lives of all our people.
Dear compatriots! I want to assure you that the state will take all measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, in these days of trials, all of us – every Uzbekistan citizen, every agency, representatives of public must unite. First of all, we are responsible for protecting our makhalla, our home, and our family from coronavirus.
In some countries, everyday life based on a high culture of hygiene, national customs are a very important factor in overcoming the disease.
Thus, densely populated Japan, which has very developed trade relations with neighboring countries, was able to prevent the spread of the virus.
Experts explain the Japanese phenomenon by the fact that they adhere to 13 rules and customs, including the manner of greeting, habit of maintaining interpersonal distance, frequent change of clothes and hand washing, complete ablution, proper nutrition, active lifestyle and sports.
This, in turn, requires us to adhere even more strongly to the customs that have been inherent in our people since ancient times, including the culture of greeting by putting hands to the heart, pouring water on the hands of a guest who has come to the house, maintaining a distance in public places and abundant consumption of fruits and vegetables.
It is necessary to continue work on regular disinfection of public places, makhallas and houses. All enterprises and organizations should conduct weekly systematic medical examination of their employees.
We all highly appreciate the dedication of our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, who faithfully perform their official duties in spite of any difficulties.
We need to prevent the spread of information that causes panic and misleads population.
I believe that our grandparents will be a bright example of involvement, patience and perseverance.
I want to appeal to students and schoolchildren who are engaged in distance learning:
Dear children, don't waste your time! Attend online classes. Read books, boost your knowledge and exercise every day.
Warm spring has come to our country. Life continues despite the difficulties. Our farmers, dehkans and entrepreneurs face very important tasks.
Of course, each of us must continue our work in full compliance with safety measures and sanitation rules. After all, tomorrow will be difficult to make up for today's losses, and time cannot be reversed.
Like all the peoples of the world, we are working hard to contain the pandemic. We are developing necessary plans to preserve people's incomes and stable operation of our enterprises.
On March 19, I signed a decree on priority measures to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on our economy. The government and local authorities are ensuring the execution of these measures.
Today I signed another important decree aimed at supporting our economy and entrepreneurs in the current difficult conditions. No matter how difficult it was and no matter how much budget it would require, I decided to take additional measures.
Thus, according to the decree:
First, entrepreneurs engaged in tourism and hotel business are exempt from paying land and property taxes until the end of the current year. Social tax rate for them is reduced from the current 12 to 1 percent. This benefit can be used by more than 1 thousand entities providing tourism services.
Second, the calculation of a fixed amount of personal income tax and social tax for individual entrepreneurs who have been forced to suspend their activities for the period of quarantine is suspended. This benefit will help almost 150 thousand individual entrepreneurs.
Third, small businesses, the revenue of which has decreased by 50 percent compared to the previous month, are granted the right to defer payment of turnover taxes, land tax, property tax, social and water taxes until October 1 this year. Most importantly, entrepreneurs can notify the tax authority about the use of this benefit without leaving their homes.
Fourth, starting April 1, 2020, mandatory requirement for legal entities to make prepayment for gas and electricity is reduced from the current 100 to 30 percent.
Fifth, assistance to entrepreneurs from the Fund for Supporting Entrepreneurship Development will be expanded.
Currently, the Fund compensates 8 percent of expenses on loans of entrepreneurs whose interest rate does not exceed 24 percent.
From now on, the state will reimburse 12 percent of loan expenses with an interest rate of up to 28 percent.
For this purpose, the Fund will additionally allocate more than 400 billion UZS to entrepreneurs to cover interest on loans worth 3 trillion UZS. The restriction on granting guarantees to only one project of one entrepreneur will also be lifted.
The Fund will provide a guarantee of up to 75 percent of the loan amount (currently 50 percent) for entrepreneurs with a positive credit history. The upper limit of the guarantee amount will be increased from the current 8 billion to 10 billion UZS.
Sixth, the deadlines for fulfilling credit obligations will be extended for loans at the amount of 12 trillion UZS of the population, individual entrepreneurs and enterprises in a difficult situation.
I also signed a resolution on the financial support for cotton-textile clusters that are just getting back on their feet, which today create many new jobs in rural areas. According to the resolution, the term of repayment of loans that they received in 2019 for cotton harvesting is extended until October 1.
Seventh, a number of measures are defined to support the population, especially its socially vulnerable categories.
In particular, until the end of this year, customs duties and excise taxes will not be levied on imports of such basic consumer goods as flour, vegetable oil, meat and dairy products, sugar, hygiene products.
At the same time, the payment of benefits to families with children, child care and material assistance, which expires in March-June this year, is automatically extended from 6 months to 1 year without the need to apply and provide documents. These benefits will also continue to be paid to other families in need.
Thanks to these measures, we will help to more than 120,000 low-income families (currently 600,000).
During the quarantine period, lonely elderly people and persons with disabilities will be provided with 18 types of basic food and hygiene products free of charge.
Eighth, we will expand support for those activities that are carried out at home.
For example, there are more than 28 thousand artisans in the country. Last year, they were allocated 50 million USD, and within the framework of 12,5 thousand projects, artisans taught more than 75 thousand new apprentices.
This year, another 50 million USD will be allocated for the sphere. Created conditions are a great opportunity for artisans.
Dear artisans! Your work and your new initiatives can make a worthy contribution to ensuring employment in the current conditions.
Dear entrepreneurs, artisans and farmers, business leaders should take advantage of provided opportunities.
Most importantly, it is necessary to look for non-standard solutions at places, save production volumes and jobs, continue work of enterprises.
Heads of sectors of the regions, districts and cities, agencies of the economic complex should review their work plans and methods of work based on this criterion.
In other words, each manager should approach problems of enterprises and entrepreneurs separately and switch to manual management while solving them.
Dear compatriots, our revered mothers and fathers, beloved children!
This difficult time, which affected everyone without exception and from which the whole world suffers, will surely pass. Our great and noble people overcame many troubles, wars and famines with courage throughout their centuries-old history!
I am fully confident that we will overcome this trial with dignity.
If we all unite even more, be patient and persistent, fully comply with doctors’ recommendations, we will be able to quickly defeat this disease!
In addition to medical measures, we must show high consciousness, discipline, patience and responsibility.
These qualities should become our most important and effective tool in this struggle.
Our people, no matter what severe cataclysms they have experienced in their history, with the help of Allah, their strength, restraint and wisdom, have always overcome them.
I have full confidence in the insight, strong will and determination of our brave, resilient and caring people.
No person or family in Uzbekistan will be left without attention and care of the state and society!
May Almighty protect all of us and save our people and all mankind from this scourge!