National Statistical System to be improved
On June 1, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on measures for improving the national statistical system.
Objectivity and transparency of statistics are the key to error-free and effective reforms. Over the past three years, large-scale activity has been carried out in this direction. In particular, the methodology for calculating inflation has been brought into line with international standards, the list of statistically observed goods has been expanded. Financial and economic indicators on the state budget, external debt, gold reserves and natural resources are being published.
Issues of formation of interlinked statistics by regions and industries, its synchronization with a single international statistical system were discussed at the meeting.
It was noted that it is necessary to bring the definition of unemployment in full compliance with International Labour Organization standards, to improve the procedure and expand the scope of surveys.
Implementation of international system for calculating the costs of treating diseases in healthcare was determined. Health insurance cannot be introduced without this.
The Cabinet of Ministers, the State Statistics Committee have been tasked with developing a roadmap for harmonization with international statistical standards in education, agriculture, foreign trade, transport, construction, the environment, tourism and other spheres.
Instruction was also given to conduct an audit of government agencies on the subject of their activity in compiling statistics.
It was noted that sectoral indicators of Uzbekistan are not fully reflected in global databases.
Responsible persons were given instructions on ensuring full reproduction of indicators in the country in international databases in labor, energy, agriculture, education and other areas.
Another problem is that half of the statistical observation data is collected in paper form. Information analysis is carried out on twenty years old software. The cost of calculating inflation can be significantly reduced by organizing an automated exchange of data between tax authorities and statistical agencies.
The task was set to strengthen the material and technical base of the system and update the software, introduce an integrated mechanism for collecting and processing statistical data on tax, labor and financial spheres.
Today, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and law enforcement agencies do not coordinate their activities in statistics. At the same time, 40 percent of statistical indicators are generated precisely by these agencies.
In this regard, the need for improving legislation in this sphere and activities of the Statistical Council, created 17 years ago, formation of an independent statistical system based on international requirements, was noted.
It is known that over the years of independence, a census has never been conducted in Uzbekistan. By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of February 5, 2019, a census was determined in 2022. On March 16 this year, the Law on Census of the Population was adopted.
The Head of the state emphasized that the census is the main source of statistics, it is necessary to carefully prepare for it now.
The State Statistics Committee was instructed to create a special unit and attract foreign experts, improve the activities of the Institute for Advanced Study at the committee, train all specialists who will participate in the census.
The issue of personnel was addressed at the meeting. Over the past 5 years, 318 bachelors and 33 masters have been trained, and only 10 percent of them work in statistics agencies. Only two percent of system employees have specialized higher education. In addition, over the past 30 years, only 1 doctoral and 11 master’s theses have been defended on statistics.
In this regard, the need for a radical improvement of the training system and development of statistical science, revision of the wage system in the sphere was noted.
Presentation of the National Statistics Development Strategy, developed together with the World Bank experts was held at the meeting. The Head of the state gave instructions for its improvement.