Uzbekistan: President Islam Karimov promised 500 USD salary for population
This year the average salary in Uzbekistan will reach 500 US dollars. This was announced by the President Islam Karimov on September 1 during the celebration of Independence Day.
Converting US dollars into Uzbek sums – non-convertible national currency of Uzbekistan – and according to President Karimov, the average citizen will get about 807 000 sum (at official rate) or 1 109 500 sum (at black market rate as of September 1).
However, according to the Ministry of Economy and State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan, in June of 2010 the average salary reached only 476.4 thousand sum (little over 200 US dollars at black market rate). This means that, according to Mr. Karimov, the salary size must double within half of the year. The President did not mention what must happen in order to make Uzbekistanis feel themselves as "sum" millionaires.
Completely different situation is observed if we look at certain category – the size of minimum salary. Despite the officially announced impressive economic growth in Uzbekistan in the last successful year – August 2009 through August 2010 – the minimum salary increased only by two dollars (considering the appreciation of American currency): from 33.645 sum per month ($18.4 at real exchange rate) to 45.215 sum ($20.4).
It has to be mentioned that such "insignificant" concepts for Uzbek economists as the appreciation of foreign currency and inflation are not reflected in the reports on socio-economic development in Uzbekistan; at least, those reports, published in mass media.
It is also worth saying that according to official statistics, by the summer of 2010 the average salary in Russia exceeded 650 US dollars while in Kazakhstan it reached 500 US dollars.