OREANDA-NEWS. June 21, 2012. President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov traveled to Surkhandarya region June 15 and delivered a keynote speech at the off-schedule session of the Regional Kengash (Council) of People’s Representatives.

The head of state observed that wide-ranging creative efforts of historic significance have been underway in Surkhandarya region, like in other parts of Uzbekistan, during the independent development years.

According to President Karimov, one can recount long about the accomplishments of this region’s residents in economy, agriculture, science, culture, education and sports. The world-renowned palvans [Uzbek kurash wrestlers] like Toshtemir Muhammadiev and Abdulla Tangriev, for instance, are the sons of Surkhandarya, praiseworthy descendants of Alpomish.

Owing to the construction works in progress for the last twenty years, the appearance of the regional center Termez as much as of other towns and villages has transformed for the better.

The economic growth rates in Surkhandarya region have been at 8.7 percent within the last five years. The province has been able to secure a 124.5 percent growth in manufacturing and 123 percent in agricultural sector for the same period. Noteworthy has been the expansion of construction works and transport and communications – 2.9 times and twofold, respectively.

The President drew attention to the fact that the share of the vital sector – small business and private entrepreneurship – in the gross regional product has increased from 63.9 to 73.8 percent within the last five years – the highest indicator so far across Uzbekistan.

The major industrial enterprises, production and communication facilities built and commissioned in the last few years have been instrumental in the socio-economic development of the province. Notably, the construction of the 525 billion-soum Toshguzar-Baysun-Kumkurgan railway has come to be a historic event not merely for Surkhandarya and our nation, but also for the entire Central Asia.

Much has been done in attracting investments into the region’s economy. 18 major projects totaling 70.6 billion soums were executed in the past five years. Critical in boosting the industrial potential of the province have been, for instance, the development of the much-promising Khonjiza deposit of complex ore, the construction of a 12 million-US-dollar Shindong Spinning factory to reprocess raw cotton, the 1.5 million-dollar Surkhon-Termez-Silk enterprise for complete processing of silk cocoons cultivated in the region, as well as other schemes.

Along with achievements made in the region, existing shortcomings have also been addressed at the session. In particular, the share of textiles in gross regional industrial output has declined from 50.7 to 43.8 percent. As little as 6.9 percent of cotton fiber produced in the province is reprocessed which is rather incongruous with contemporary trends.

A special government program was approved in 2007 to improve the melioration conditions of soil in Uzbekistan. Remarkable efforts have been undertaken in Surkhandarya to implement that action plan. Significantly, more than 430 kilometers of irrigation networks have been laid and reconstructed within the past five years. Principal facilities of Amu Zang Canal irrigation system were repaired for the USD 73m loan granted by the Asian Development Bank. As a result of these wide-scale works, eighty thousand hectares of land have been recovered.

In 2011, average cotton yield capacity in Surkhandarya region amounted to 29.2 metric centners, while grain crop productivity reached 48.9 centners. The former has increased by 2-3 centners, and the latter grew by 4-5 centners in the last three years – which is a positive indicator.

One of the important goals to be addressed by the agricultural sector of our country today is to bolster the efficiency of farmer entities. In excess of 4,800 such businesses operate currently in Surkhandarya region, including the 2,490 ones specializing in cotton and grain cultivation.

The session served for a comprehensive analysis of the endeavors undertaken by the region’s authorities to meet the demands and needs of the population.

Thus, in line with target regional program, more than 65,000 new jobs were created in 2011. Small business accounted for 73 percent of those jobs.

In accordance with a fundamental government scheme adopted three years ago to augment the living conditions in rural areas and aimed at construction of modern housing on model design, around 1,400 families moved into new homes erected during 2009-2011 for the 95.5 billion soums earmarked for these purposes.

Also, the current efforts related to enrolling the school leavers at academic lyceums and professional colleges have been deliberated during the meeting.

Then the session participants discussed managerial issues. On the proposal of President Islam Karimov, Narmumin Chariev has been elected hokim (governor) of Surkhandarya, who had been the acting hokim of the region since December 2011.

Officials and representatives of the general public, including farmers and students and faculty of education institutions, who took floor at the session, noted that the region’s residents would address the critical remarks and urgent recommendations of the head of state in their further activities.

Later that day, President Islam Karimov traveled to Surkhon Sarvari farm fields in Termez district to talk with farmers and enquire into the progress of current grain harvesting season.

“In grain crop growing, June is an important period,” Islam Karimov suggested. “This year has been favorable, and thus grain farmers have grown a considerable yield. The next crucial task is to reap it in good time and without loss.”

According to the head of our state, relying exclusively on land farming will not suffice to secure prosperity of the nation. Today, the farmer ought to be an economist, manager, agronomist, and manufacturer at the same time. They should reprocess the harvested crop on their own and hence facilitate the advancement of industrial production in rural areas, the establishment of services sector.

President Karimov then visited a military unit of National Security Service Border Guard and had a conversation with officers and privates, inquired after their service, living conditions and families.

“The military servicemen and women are the pride and reliable fulcrum of Uzbekistan,” the President said.

“They are always on the readiness to defend the Motherland. Thanks to their constant vigilance, our frontiers are inviolable, and peace has been reigning in our country, the people live in harmony. At the same time, the service people have their own lives, families, joys and things to take care of. Thus, we should always be attentive to creating worthwhile conditions for the armed forces.”

The wide-ranging reforms embarked on in Uzbekistan and the keen accomplishments in uplifting the wellbeing of our people are primarily the outcome of national independence. The creative endeavors, the transforming consciousness and thinking of people in Surkhandarya region, as well, have been indicative of this truth.