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IFC Helps Uzbekistan Streamline Inspections and Permit Issuing Procedures


In Washington
Irina Likhachova

Phone: + 202 473 1813
Email:
ilikhachova@ifc.org
www.ifc.org/eca


Tashkent, November 8, 2005. The President of Uzbekistan has signed two decrees aimed at liberalizing the business environment in Uzbekistan. The signed decrees are based on the recommendations from IFC and will streamline the inspections system, decrease the number of permits, and simplify permit issuing procedures.  They will greatly reduce the regulatory burden on Uzbek entrepreneurs.

The Presidential decree to simplify permit procedures cancels permits that are duplicated by other state regulatory documents: such permits were issued to 45 percent of Uzbek firms requiring permits in 2004. The decree also establishes that only permits stipulated in laws remain obligatory, and it rescinds the rights of municipal authorities to issue new permits. In addition, the decree requests the government to submit a draft Law on Permits to Parliament within 3 months. The new law is expected to clarify the permit system further.

The Presidential decree to streamline inspections provides for implementation of a risk-based system of inspections, which directly links the frequency of inspections to the level of risk a firm’s activities pose to society and the environment. The decree also prohibits the imposing of financial sanctions on enterprises that remove violations found during an inspection in a timely manner and that voluntarily compensate for damages caused.

IFC’s Uzbekistan SME Policy Project will continue working with regulatory agencies to improve the country’s business-enabling environment.  It plans to assist in drafting the new Law on Permits, introducing risk-based inspections, and implementing additional measures to improve inspection procedures.

Zafar Khashimov, manager of IFC’s project, emphasized that “Adoption of these decrees is the first key stage of reforming permits and inspections in Uzbekistan. The country’s entrepreneurs should see the direct effect of these new and important measures by the end of the year.”

IFC’s Uzbekistan SME Policy Project is funded by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco).

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.