Uzbek leader criticizes work to expand public-private partnerships
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — On 5 August, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev got acquainted with a presentation on expanding public-private partnerships in the fields of energy, transport, utilities and healthcare.
In order to reduce the burden on the budget and attract the private sector to large projects, the Public-Private Partnership Agency was created in 2018, a separate law and more than 10 resolutions were adopted.
Despite this, to date, only 9 large public-private partnership projects have been signed in the fields of energy, healthcare and utilities. This is a very low figure, the head of state noted.
It was instructed to introduce public-private partnership in the sale of electricity and natural gas to consumers. It was noted that this is the only way to reduce costs and losses, ensuring competition between manufacturers and suppliers.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has set a task to accelerate 14 PPP projects in the field of healthcare worth US$270 million.
It was instructed to complete tenders for the establishment of hemodialysis centers in Karakalpakstan, Khorezm and Tashkent within two months. This will provide access to this type of assistance for 1,100 citizens per year, as well as ease the burden on the budget, from which 100 billion soums will be allocated annually for hemodialysis.
Over 20,000 cancer patients are registered in our country every year. Responsible persons were instructed to create two centers of radiation therapy on the basis of public-private partnership by the end of this year. Also, project documentation will be developed for the creation of a multidisciplinary clinical hospital for 1 thousand beds in Nurafshan on the basis of the “construction – management – delivery” principle.
During the consideration of PPPs in the field of transport and logistics, an absolutely unsatisfactory level of work in this direction was noted.
It is indicated that the further development of the sphere will require US$27 billion.
For example, today the road from Tashkent to Andijan through the Kamchik pass takes 5-6 hours, 22 thousand cars pass along it. In the next 5 years, this figure will reach 40 thousand. With the launch of the Tashkent-Andijan toll road, the distance will be reduced to 3 hours, and the throughput will increase by 70 percent.
In this regard, the head of state stressed the importance of developing design documentation and announcing a tender for the construction of a new tunnel through the Kamchik pass.
According to the analysis of international experts, the modernization of existing airports in Uzbekistan will require an average of US$800 million. In this regard, it was instructed to develop, jointly with the World Bank, terms of reference for transferring the airports of Tashkent, Bukhara, Ferghana and Urgench to the management on the basis of a “package principle” (when unprofitable airports are transferred together with profitable ones).
Projects in the field of public utilities were also comprehensively considered. It is indicated that the industry does not feel any changes at all, work is progressing slowly.
Currently, the task is to build and modernize the sewerage system in 31 large and medium-sized cities, 156 regional centers. Sewerage availability is 45 percent in Karshi, 37 percent in Andijan, 30 percent in Nukus, 10 percent in Namangan.
For only 18 large and medium-sized cities, funds from international financial organizations in the amount of US$912 million were attracted. It is planned that for all sewage construction projects will require US$2.6 billion. Public-private partnerships for urban sewerage will ease the budget burden and improve service quality.
In addition, it was instructed to work out a PPP model in the field of heat supply on the example of the cities of Bukhara, Namangan and Nukus.
Deputy Prime Ministers Jamshid Kuchkarov and Sardor Umurzakov were instructed to quarterly discuss the implementation of all public-private partnership projects and determine the necessary measures.
At the end of the presentation, which was held in a critical spirit, the responsible persons were given specific instructions on how to organize the work.
It was emphasized that issues related to public-private partnership will henceforth be under the personal control of the President.
It was determined that in the near future the responsible persons will report to the head of state on the results of the work carried out in this direction.