Uzbek government made decisions affecting economic welfare of its citizens
Liquefied gas for the population of Uzbekistan will double in price by August
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic made the corresponding resolution of setting a single price for liquefied gas explaining it by the need to eliminate the systemic problem of providing the population with this type of fuel, as well as to prevent embezzlement and abuse during its sale and delivery.
The resolution defines a gradual transition to a single price for liquefied gas during 2018. Accordingly, from 1 April one kilogram of this fuel will cost 500 soms for residents of Bukhara, Jizzakh, Kashkadarya, Navoi, Samarkand, Syrdarya and Surkhandarya provinces, 700 soms - Andijan, Namangan, Ferghana and Tashkent provinces, 720 soms - Karakalpakstan and Khorezm region provinces.
By 1 August 2018, the transition to a single (fixed) price for all provinces, instead of contractual (free) prices, which have been applied since 1 October 1994, will complete.
In the future, the retail price for gas for domestic use will change depending on changes in prices for natural gas sold to the population of the republic by the company "Uztransgaz".
According to Kun.uz news edition, one kilogram of liquefied gas for use in everyday life in the republic can be bought for 372 soms today.
The Uzbek government is implementing a special programme to provide consumers with liquefied gas. In 2017, 40 service centres were built to store and sell household gas cylinders, 40 special vehicles were purchased for their transportation, five gas filling stations were commissioned.
The total number of gas cylinders in use in the population, according to Podrobno.uz news website, exceeded 3.7 million. According to the management of the company "Uztransgaz", about two million consumers use liquefied gas in the country.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the resolution which significantly reduces the excise tax on cars produced by GM Uzbekistan - from 27% to 5%.
The government has already reduced the excise tax rate for GM Uzbekistan cars once in the summer of 2017 - from 29% to 27%.
A decrease in excise tax will positively affect retail prices for cars produced in Uzbekistan, which will become at least stable, and possibly even lower since excise tax is an indirect tax which is an additional factor that influences the increase in the cost of goods. After all, the manufacturer includes the amount of excise tax in the price of its products, thereby shifting the tax burden to the consumer, notes Podrobno.uz news agency.
High excises, as a rule, are introduced on "harmful" goods (alcohol, tobacco products), as well as luxury goods. Sometimes excise taxes are imposed on products manufactured by labour-intensive industries.
The Ministry of Finance and the State Tax Committee of Uzbekistan jointly approved new minimum wholesale and retail prices for alcoholic beverages (except beer). Consequently, the minimum retail price for wine has been increased from 6,500 to 7,800 soms per litre (by 20%), for cognac - from 20,600 to 26,400 soms per litre (by 28%), for vodka and other alcoholic products - from 15,500 to 19,200 soms per litre (by 24%).
As the joint resolution notes, new prices for alcohol products are set to prevent its illegal production and sale. Alcoholic beverages below this price are prohibited for sale.
The last time the minimum wholesale and retail prices for alcohol were set by a joint decision of the two government agencies in November 2016.
A similar decision was also made about tobacco products. In 2018, the excise tax rate on cigarettes produced in Uzbekistan increases by 125%. Earlier, the excise tax on cigarettes has increased by 29.9% in 2017.
President Mirziyoyev leads the tax policy fundamentally different from his predecessor. Under Islam Karimov, the rates of taxes and excises had regularly increased.
Uzbek citizens began importing goods for personal use from Kazakhstan up to $ 1,000 without payment of customs duties, Ozodlik Radio (the Uzbek service of Radio Liberty) reports. The State Customs Committee of the republic confirmed the information the radio station received from Uzbeks who crossed the Uzbek-Kazakh border.
The ten-dollar limit policy for duty-free importation of consumer goods for personal needs into the country from neighbouring states has been operating in Uzbekistan since January 2010. It was introduced to "protect the domestic consumer market". At the same time, it is duty-free to import goods worth up to $ 1,000 from countries that do not have a common border with Uzbekistan.
Gazeta.uz news outlet confirms the introduction of the new policy noting that the norm of the duty-free import of goods does not apply to individuals importing products intended for commercial activities.
A source in the government of Uzbekistan told Gazeta.uz that a policy of the ten-dollar limit on the duty-free importation of goods for personal use will be scrapped shortly at the borders of all neighbouring countries (Uzbekistan borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan).
At the same time, since 1 January, the government has scrapped the written declaration of taking foreign currency cash in and out of Uzbekistan in the amount of up to $ 2,000.
There is no need to declare taking the equivalent of less than $ 5,000 of foreign currency cash out of the country.