The article discusses some topical issues of formation of anti-corruption policy in the Republic of Uzbekistan. A number of causes and consequences of corruption are given. The legal definition of corruption is given in accordance with the national legislation of the country. The current regulatory framework for the fight against corruption of the Republic of Uzbekistan is presented. It reveals the essence of ongoing anti-corruption reforms aimed at combating corruption in various spheres of the national economy of Uzbekistan. From the conducted system analysis revealed some problems in the fight against corruption in the country. The authors proposed a number of specific and effective measures to reduce the level of corruption in Uzbekistan.
Keywords: corruption, anti-corruption policy, shadow economy, investment, investment climate, market mechanism.
Встатье рассмотрены некоторые актуальные вопросы формирования антикоррупционной политики в Республике Узбекистан. Приведены ряд причин и последствия коррупции. Дается правовое определение коррупции в соответствии с национальным законодательством страны. Представлена действующая нормативно-правовая база борьбы против коррупции Республики Узбекистан. Раскрывается суть проводимых антикоррупционных реформ, направленных на противодействие коррупции в различных сферах национальной экономики Узбекистана. Из проведённого системного анализа выявлены некоторые проблемы в области борьбы с коррупцией в стране. Авторами предложен ряд конкретных и действенных мероприятии по снижению уровня коррупции в Узбекистане.
Ключевые слова:коррупция, антикоррупционная политика, теневая экономика, инвестиции, инвестиционный климат, рыночный механизм.
After the independence, Uzbekistan began to consistently build a democratic country with a socially oriented economy. From the first days of independence, the main goal of the state was to increase the welfare of the people, significant indicators of economic growth, to achieve high positions in both political and economic spheres. The country is resolutely moving along the path of constructive development, building a democratic and fair society, modernizing all branches of the national economy. At the same time, any society that carries out cardinal reforms, rebuilds the state structure, liberalizes all spheres of public life, inevitably faces opposition to reforms, the new open-door policy, expressed in indifference to the fate of the country. This is often manifested in the personal selfish purposes of individuals who, joining corruption schemes, squander the state, thereby inhibiting the development of society. Implementation of measures to combat corruption is one of the priorities of state policy based on the coordinated activities of anti-corruption entities. The First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, I.Karimov, repeatedly noted the following: “In the history of each state, the transition to a new social order, unfortunately, has always been associated with such heinous phenomena as corruption and crime” .
Given the particular urgency of the problem being raised in the world, in Uzbekistan, initiated by President Sh. M. Mirziyoyev, on the basis of global practice , the law “On Combating Corruption”, which entered into force on January 4, 2017, was developed and approved. The purpose of the law is to regulate relations in the field of countering corruption. The document defines the terms “corruption”, “corruption offense” and “conflict of interest”. According to Article 3 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Countering Corruption”, corruption is the unlawful use by a person of his official or official position in order to obtain material or intangible benefits for personal interests or in the interests of other persons, as well as unlawful provision of such benefits . In other words, corruption is the main enemy not only of the state, but also of the economy.
As shown by our analysis of world experience, corruption has a negative impact on society as a whole. For example, it can be considered as follows:
1. corruption leads to a decrease in investment in production, and therefore slows down the economic growth of enterprises and the state as a whole; 2. corruption in private business, and especially in small business, leads to the ruin of private entrepreneurs ; 3. corruption causes inefficient allocation and spending of public funds and resources; 4. there is a loss of taxes when the tax authorities take over part of the state's taxes; 5. corruption causes a loss of time due to the obstacles, and, consequently, a decrease in the overall performance of the state apparatus ; 6. loss of taxes when the tax authorities appropriate a part of taxes ; 7. loss of time due to obstacles, reduced efficiency of the state apparatus as a whole; 8. the ruin of private entrepreneurs; 9. decline in investment in production, slowing economic growth; 10. lowering the quality of public service; 11. inappropriate use of international assistance to developing countries which dramatically reduces its effectiveness; 12. inefficient use of the abilities of individuals: instead of producing material goods, people spend time on unproductive rent seeking ; 13. growing social inequality; 14. strengthening organized crime; 15. damage to the political legitimacy of power; 16. decline in public morals.
Fig. 1–3 are provided to summarize graphically some of the effects of corruption in the economic, social and political spheres.
Fig. 1. Negative effects of corruption in the economic
Fig. 2. In the sphere the negative effects of corruption
Fig. 3. In the political sphere the negative consequences of corruption
The president of Uzbekistan Sh. M. Mirziyoyev pays considerable attention to this issue. Thus, speaking at the solemn ceremony of assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan at a joint meeting of the chambers of the Oliy Majlis, he stressed: “We must take decisive measures to counter and prevent corruption in our society, various crimes and offenses, to ensure in practice the postulate of the law that the punishment for a crime is inevitable” . Obviously, to fight corruption, first of all, we need a clear legal framework. In order to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Combating Corruption”, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted the Resolution “On Measures for Implementing the Provisions of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Combating Corruption” . In particular, in just one year in the Ministry of Finance alone, in order to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Combating Corruption”, timely and high-quality implementation of measures to prevent corruption in all spheres of society and the state, as part of the execution of the State Program by the Ministry of Finance approved by:
– The Plan of Practical Actions for the Implementation of the State Program on Countering Corruption for 2017–2018, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated February 2, 2017 No. DP-2752;
– Action Plan to improve the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in the system of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017.
In addition, measures such as improving the work of the helpline and the Internet site, ensuring the transparency of public services, as well as hiring, identifying the most vulnerable areas for abuse and neutralizing the identified risks, introducing ethical rules of conduct for workers, improving legal literacy and awareness of corruption prevention issues, anti-corruption training, etc.
Anti-corruption reform carried out in Uzbekistan will improve the country's position in the annual rating of the international organization “Transparency International”. The index, which assesses 180 countries and territories on their estimated levels of public sector corruption, is estimated by experts and businessmen to use a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 is very corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two thirds of countries estimate the consumer price index this year to below 50, while the average is only 43. This shows that the continuing inability of most countries to significantly control corruption contributes to the crisis of democracy around the world. Although there are exceptions, data show that, despite some progress, most countries cannot seriously intervene in the fight against corruption. The international anti-corruption organization “Transparency International” has published the annual Corruption Perception Index for 2018. According to the report, the list of countries least affected by corruption is headed by Denmark, and the top ten looks as follows: 1. Denmark; 2.New Zealand; 3. Finland;4. Sweden;5. Norway; 6. Switzerland; 7. Singapore; 8. Netherlands; 9. Luxembourg; 10. Canada.
Despite the reforms aimed at combating corruption, unfortunately, the Republic of Uzbekistan is in 158th place. The most corrupt countries are mostly in Africa, and there are several Asian and South American countries. High results of Western countries are explained by many years of experience in fighting corruption and building democratic states with a strong civil society.
As practice shows, the fundamentals of combating corruption lie in a systematic approach aimed not only at actual control and punishment, but also at preventing corruption.
In our opinion, the following can be attributed to measures to prevent corruption:
– informational work with the population, aimed at conveying to the society the idea of the inadmissibility of corruption and the need to report it in all circumstances;
– increasing the transparency of state structures;
– media independence;
– increasing the level of social protection of civil servants;
– simplifying bureaucratic procedures, digitizing them.
Our studies have shown that the adoption of regulations is not enough to fight corruption. Substantial changes are needed in the countermeasures system, the introduction of new structures and mechanisms. Therefore, it is advisable to include in anti-corruption measures:
– active participation of civil society, creation and empowerment of self-organization structures of the population to combat corruption;
– Interaction between law enforcement and civil society;
– special attention to ensuring the impartiality of judges;
– adoption of the necessary laws based on the interests of the country, and not members of parliament;
– increasing the responsibility of all parties involved.
Based on the fact that full-scale efforts are needed today in this field, the authors propose a concept that involves the followings as an intervention:
- a consistent increase in the efficiency of public administration through the implementation of political, organizational, legal, economic and ideological events/activities;
- development of the necessary scientific support for the implementation of anti-corruption policies with the involvement of independent experts, international experts ;
- stimulation of market progress (favorable investment climate, market mechanism, fair competition and the development of private entrepreneurship) ;
- improvement of the socio-psychological state of the population by changing the legal awareness of this phenomenon (conducting educational work in the media and the Internet, holding thematic conferences, seminars and televised debates, educational programs and courses in educational institutions and civil society institutions);
- an active parliamentary procedure, examination of bills on corruption, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of the application of legislative initiatives in the field of combating corruption;
- support of public organizations that increase political engagement and public control over public spending, in particular at the local level;
- further reforming the public service in the interests of maximum openness and transparency of its activities.
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