News of the project
The representatives of the Government and civil society jointly discussed the Concept for elaboration of a Citizen’s budget
On December 4, 2017 the “Poytaht” Business Center hosted a Roundtable dedicated to discussion of the Concept for preparation and publication of a Citizen’s budget. The event was held within the framework of the joint Project of UNDP and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan on "Support to Public Finance Management (PFM) Reforms in Uzbekistan".
Over 60 participants representing a wide range of stakeholders including the the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Finance, a number of line ministries and agencies, the Institute for Forecasting and Macroeconomic Research under the Cabinet of Ministers, the Banking and Finance Academy and the Tashkent Financial Institute, the Public Fund for Supporting NGOs under the Oliy Majlis, the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of a Civil Society, the Center for the Study of Public Opinion "Ijtimoiy Fikr", the Youth Union and the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan, the Public Charity Fund “Mahalla", as well as media and others joined the event.
According to the Budget Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted in 2013, transparency is one of the main principles of the budget system of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This principle provides that the procedures of preparation, review and adoption of the State Budget, the publication of information on the approved State Budget and the budgets of the state trust funds, as well as on the progress of their implementation, are open to the society and the media. The implementation of this principle is particularly relevant in the context of the Action Strategy adopted this year on five priority development areas of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the period of 2017-2021 and the announcement of Year 2017 as the "Year of Dialogue with the People and People’s Interests". The new initiatives underscore the need to disclose information and introduce the mechanisms for involving citizens in the processes of reviewing, adopting and implementing the State Budget and the budgets of the state targeted funds.
In his welcoming speech, Mr. Dilshod Nematovich Sattarov, the Deputy Minister of Finance – Head of the Treasury noted that "the decisions and measures taken by the Government radically change the mechanisms of interaction between the Government and the citizens. The new interaction is built upon the understanding that the dialogue between the authorities and the citizens is a valuable tool to increase trust in the Government. As such dialogue progresses, the citizens are more likely to support the efforts taken by the authorities to develop the country, because they understand that those measures serve their interests. Establishing a dialogue with the citizens will not only help to improve the effectiveness of the budget process, but first of all, it will ensure wide awareness of the citizens about the budget system, the formation and execution of the budgets of all levels as well as the budgets of the state targeted funds. This will improve the understanding of the goals and priorities of the budgetary policy and simplify the involvement of the citizens in the budget discussion and implementation monitoring processes".
Further Mr. Hurshid Rustamov, Head of the UNDP Sustainable Development Cluster in Uzbekistan thanked Round table participants on behalf of UNDP and outlined the main areas of cooperation and support to be provided to the Ministry of Finance in the area of enhancing fiscal transparency that includes support in developing new budget formats for submission and approval by the Oliy Majlis, development and publication of the information on budget in formats accessible to general public including the Citizen’s budget, as well as support in reviewing and assessment of the timeliness, quality and availability of the published information on the budget in accordance with the requirements of the PEFA, IMF Fiscal Transparency Code, Open Budget Index and etc.
In her presentation, the UNDP Project Research Coordinator Ms. Victoria Anoshkina presented brief information on the internationally accepted standards and guidelines on the openness of the budget data, as well as on the fiscal transparency assessments being conducted by the international organizations.
Mr. Ismonjon Mamadjanov, Head of the Department for the methodology of planning and treasury execution of the state budget, internal audit and financial control of the Ministry of Finance provided information on the status of the government’s reforms in the PFM area focusing on the current activities with respect to the budget openness and involvement of citizens into its preparation.
Further, the National Project Consultant Mr. Omonjon Ganiev presented to the Roundtable guests and participants the main provisions of the Concept for preparation and publication of a Citizens’ budget. In his speech, he spoke in detail about the main target groups of the "citizens’ budget", its content and structure, the forms, ways and means of its presentation, as well as about the publication timing and the distribution channels.
During the active discussion session, the Roundtable participants had an opportunity to ask questions, as well as to share their concerns and suggestions on the submitted document. Based on the results of the discussion, the accepted suggestions and recommendations will be taken into account during the finalization of the Concept. They will also be considered when developing the Citizens’ Budget itself, which is planned to be prepared in 2018.