Seminar with representatives of the UNDP on the topic: "Prospects for the process of Initiative budgeting in the Republic of Uzbekistan"
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 16 February, a seminar was held at the Ministry of Finance on the implementation and prospects for the development of Initiative budgeting in the Republic of Uzbekistan, organized within the framework of a joint project of UNDP and the Ministry of Finance.
The seminar was organized in order to discuss issues of improving the mechanism for directing budget funds for the implementation of activities formed on the basis of public opinion in the Republic of Uzbekistan, reviewing foreign practice of Initiative budgeting, as well as exchanging views with international and foreign experts.
As part of the reforms carried out in Uzbekistan in recent years, much attention is paid to strengthening the accountability of the executive authorities, increasing the role of the Oliy Majlis and Kengashes of People’s Deputies, as well as involving civil society institutions in discussion and decision-making at all levels. In the budgetary sphere, mechanisms have already begun to be introduced aimed at increasing budget transparency and expanding citizen participation in the budget process.
This year, as part of the implementation of the State Program for the implementation of the Action Strategy for the five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021, in the Year of Support for Youth and Strengthening the Health of the Population, it is planned to introduce, as an experiment, the procedure for directing 5 percent of expenditures when forming the budget in pilot regions (cities), taking into account the opinions of citizens on solving problems in the makhalla, paying special attention to the issues of supporting youth and strengthening the health of the population.
The seminar, organized by the Ministry of Finance with the assistance of UNDP, was attended (including on a remote basis) by representatives of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, the Development Strategy Center, the “Yuksalish” National Movement, other ministries and departments, regional khokimiyats, public councils as well as representatives of the media. Along with this, international experts from UNDP and the World Bank, as well as foreign experts from the Russian Federation and Ukraine (who participated on a remote basis) were invited to participate in the workshop.
During the seminar, the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the speeches of national and foreign experts on the prospects for the development of Initiative budgeting in Uzbekistan, participatory practices integrated into state and municipal governance, using the experience of Russia and other foreign countries, the practice of developing participatory / initiative budgeting in Ukraine, and an overview of the experiences of PEMPAL member countries in participatory budgeting.
During the discussion that took place after familiarization with the presentations of the speakers, the participants of the seminar discussed proposals for improving the current practice of initiative budgeting in Uzbekistan, and also exchanged views with foreign and international experts on the possibility of applying foreign experience and international practice of developing participatory / initiative budgeting.
The experience and examples presented at the seminar clearly showed how the involvement of citizens in the distribution of part of the budget funds contributes to a better solution of problems on the ground, taking into account the opinions and interests of residents. Based on the results of the discussion, the working group will propose the most suitable model (practice) and mechanisms for citizens’ participation in the distribution of part of the funds from the budgets of districts (cities) in pilot districts.
Thus, this event served as an effective platform for the exchange of experience and fruitful discussion of the prospects for the development of initiative budgeting in Uzbekistan.