Today, thanks to the ongoing reforms in New Uzbekistan, the construction industry, much like the entire country, is entering a new phase of development. The outcomes of these efforts are evident in significant changes in our social life, particularly in the construction of the "Obod qishloq," "Obod mahalla," and "New Uzbekistan" residential areas. This progress brings joy to individuals who will now have their dream homes for years to come.
It's crucial to highlight the active involvement of builders in the construction of modern buildings and structures, marking a radical transformation in the appearance of our cities and villages. As representatives of an industry directly contributing to the enhancement of our people's quality of life, builders play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our communities.
Modernity and safety are the main criteria for construction
As previously mentioned, construction has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the country's economy. The total volume of construction work in the republic stood at 35 trillion soums in 2017 (as of 17.11.2023 - $1=12,269.42 soums), 51 trillion soums in 2018, 71 trillion soums in 2019, 88 trillion soums in 2020, 108 trillion soums in 2021, and 131 trillion soums in 2022.
Recent years have witnessed the adoption of 28 presidential documents and 24 government decrees aimed at reforming the construction sector, providing a solid foundation for enhancing operations across all areas. Additionally, the introduction of a new edition of the "Urban Planning Code" has played a pivotal role in aligning the sector's practices with the requirements of the new era.
The strategy and roadmap for the modernization and innovative development of the construction network for 2021-2025 have been officially approved. Notably, significant measures and reforms have been undertaken with noteworthy results.
First and foremost, it's worth highlighting that over the past six years, a total of 1,370 urban planning documents for urban and rural settlements have been developed. These include master plans and projects for 202 cities and towns, as well as master plans for 1,168 rural micro-districts, along with detailed plans.
Furthermore, as part of the "Obod qishloq" and "Obod mahalla" programs, 1,944 comprehensive master plans for mahallas have been meticulously prepared, addressing a multitude of socio-economic issues. This reflects a dedicated effort to foster comprehensive development in both urban and rural areas.
By the year-end, there are plans to develop an additional 225 urban planning documents, encompassing master plans for 11 cities and 50 villages, along with master plans for 42 districts and 122 villages.
Efforts are also underway to establish primary schemes for initial placement throughout the republic. The task necessitates the involvement of qualified and experienced personnel. As a result, seasoned foreign specialists in the field of urban planning are engaged as consultants for the main design institutes within the system.
Over six years, a remarkable 537 technical regulations about the construction industry have been developed and existing ones have been updated. Furthermore, 10 regulations focused on enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings and the utilization of renewable energy sources have been refined based on European standards. This signifies a commitment to staying in line with contemporary practices and global standards.
In 2023, to streamline the requirements for the construction industry within urban planning standards, several key initiatives have been set in motion:
The mutual consolidation of 44 standards.
The amalgamation of 36 standards into estimated resource standards.
The reclassification of 30 standards into the category of technical regulations.
The transition of 76 standards into the reference category.
The reclassification of 46 standards into the category of estimated resource standards.
To usher in modern standards and technologies, collaborative efforts have been established with progressive foreign countries. Notably, expert consultants from Japan have been engaged to provide insights on seismic standards, while counterparts from the United States are contributing expertise on fire safety regulations. Additionally, South Korean expert consultants are actively participating in harmonizing building standards with international benchmarks, considering geological, climatic, and seismic characteristics. This collaborative approach ensures the adoption of contemporary standards while taking into account diverse environmental factors.
Simultaneously, our country has adopted the technical regulations of the construction industry from several countries, including Great Britain (USA), China (GB, CJ, JC, JG), Korea (KVS), the European Union (EU), Russia (SNiP, SP), USA (IBC), and Japan (JIS). These regulations cover crucial and relevant aspects for the industry, ensuring not only swift construction but also addressing critical concerns such as earthquake resistance and fire safety. Ignoring these factors could result in a structure that falls short of providing a safe and secure living environment for people. The modern world and its standards demand a comprehensive approach to construction.
To enhance transparency and efficiency, the project documentation review process has transitioned to a fully transparent electronic system. The traditional practice of submitting paper documents to expert bodies has been entirely replaced, with design and estimate documentation now being submitted for examination online. This modernization reflects a commitment to adopting contemporary practices and leveraging technology for a more streamlined and accessible regulatory process.
To date, approximately 111,000 facility projects have undergone review through this system, leading to savings of about 20.5 trillion soums on these projects.
The introduction of certificates for legal entities engaged in expertise has fostered a competitive environment within the system. The categorization of the expert opinion provision system based on the complexity of the object has been established. An electronic rating system for expert organizations has been initiated to issue opinions on projects of varying complexity categories.
A mechanism has been established for certifying experts and issuing opinions based on the classification of projects by complexity categories.
To enhance the development of design and estimate documentation, the "volumetric" method is being introduced. This involves studying the works of foreign countries, relevant regulatory documents, and advancements resulting from the application of the volumetric method.
In an experimental phase, the "volumetric" method is set to be applied to select social and infrastructure facilities included in the 2024 program. A corresponding regulatory document is under development to facilitate the incorporation of these methods.
As a result of the experiment, the plan is to extend the application of the "volumetric" method to other areas of construction by 2025, with the goal of making it constitute 50% of the total number of construction projects.
The on-the-ground implementation of the information system "Construction Control" has automated control processes. In 2022, this system monitored over 30,000 objects. To overcome bureaucratic hurdles and extensively integrate modern information and communication technologies, a range of electronic online platforms has been launched alongside the national information system "Shaffof Qurilish." These platforms include systems such as "Construction Quality Control," "Expertise of Design and Estimate Documentation," "Target Program Monitoring System," "Vigilant Citizen," "Geoportal," and "Building Materials Classifier."
Digitization of public services in the construction industry has streamlined processes. Coordination for changes in the appearance, specialization, reconstruction, and construction of additional buildings and structures, as well as approval of project estimates, registration of construction for an object, issuance of permits for completed construction and installation works, and certification of real estate conditions are now efficiently managed through this digital order.
The profession of a builder demands a significant level of responsibility, and not everyone is suited for construction work. The electronic rating and bidding system play a crucial role in identifying genuine and experienced contractors. Specifically, the rating of construction contractors and design organizations is seamlessly integrated into the electronic rating platform, linking with the information systems of relevant state bodies to formulate comprehensive information and ratings in the field. Presently, this rating encompasses over 19,000 construction and contracting organizations, with more than 1,900 design organizations included.
The electronic tender platform has successfully eliminated the human factor in electronic tender processes within the construction industry. The system, utilizing organization ratings, automatically evaluates commercial offers, preventing various paperwork and associated expenses. In 2022, the platform facilitated tenders for 7,057 projects, resulting in savings of 748 billion soums. In the current year, tenders were conducted for 656 design organizations and 509 construction and contracting organizations, yielding savings of 149.5 billion soums. This digital approach not only enhances efficiency but also contributes to substantial cost savings in the construction procurement process.
Ensuring Adequate Housing for the Population: A Primary Objective
Over the past six years, the population of our country has surged by 5.5 million, surpassing 36 million. Simultaneously, our cities are undergoing expansion and modernization, intensifying the need for housing. Notably, the construction of numerous dwellings has been accelerated to create improved living conditions, aligning to meet this growing demand.
Since 2017, a noteworthy 326,000 new houses have been commissioned nationwide, leading to an 18% increase in housing provision per capita. Over the last three years, banks have extended 33 trillion soums in mortgage loans to 210,000 families. Additionally, 73,000 low-income families have received a subsidy totaling 1.3 trillion soums for initial payments and interest. These substantial figures underscore the impactful outcomes of humane reforms guided by the principle "for human dignity."
The ongoing efforts not only lead to the construction of new houses and social facilities but also play a vital role in the modernization of infrastructure in both urban and rural areas. This, in turn, enhances the possibilities of expanding additional networks.
The infusion of market principles into the industry has resulted in the formation of hundreds of private client companies. Notably, there are now 11 large clusters focused on prefabricated reinforced concrete high-rise buildings. The entrepreneurial-friendly conditions have spurred an increase in the production of cement, gas blocks, tiles, and porcelain stoneware, consequently lowering their prices. The previous year witnessed the construction of 60,000 apartment buildings, marking a significant accomplishment. Additionally, the development of New Uzbekistan massifs has commenced in 31 regions.
In a broader perspective, the planned increase in housing construction volume for the current year is substantial, aiming for a 1.5 times surge, reaching up to 90,000 units. These developments underscore the dynamic growth, entrepreneurial vigor, and transformative market conditions within the construction sector.
The dream place is the array of "New Uzbekistan"
In reality, a social policy prioritizing individual interests gains even greater significance when executed cohesively. These concerns are personally overseen and managed by the head of state. Specifically, to fulfill the Presidential Decree of April 13, 2023, and by the approved address list by the Cabinet of Ministers, the construction of 2,012 houses, totaling 90,923 apartments, has been delineated. Within this, 837 houses, comprising 30,639 apartments, are slated for construction across 38 "New Uzbekistan" blocks in 14 regions.
Referring to the previous year's program, out of the 532 houses designated for construction in the "New Uzbekistan" area and carried over from previous years, only 111 (21 percent) were completed. As part of the 2023 program, 305 houses in such areas were made available for auction, with 218 sold and contractors identified. The sale of the remaining 70 houses is ongoing.
Reviewing the design and estimate documentation for 172 houses resulted in positive conclusions. Subsequently, 153 houses were officially registered, and authorization was granted to commence construction and installation work by the control inspection in the field of construction and housing and communal services.
To date, 126 houses (totaling 3,994 apartments) have been completed and put into operation in the "New Uzbekistan" massif, fulfilling the dreams of numerous individuals who now have their desired homes and addresses.
Moreover, as per the program, in regions experiencing high demand for housing, private entrepreneurs are actively constructing 60,284 houses. Out of the planned 1,175 houses, 1,008 (equivalent to 5,047 apartments) are currently undergoing housing control inspections in the field of construction and housing and communal services, ensuring the progress of construction and installation work. Concurrently, efforts are underway to connect new residential areas to engineering networks.
In April of this year, during a video conference meeting dedicated to prioritizing housing construction in the "New Uzbekistan" massifs and implementing the mortgage program for 2023, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan proposed several initiatives to further advance work in this direction. Notably, to extend assistance to a wider audience, individuals with insufficient official income will be granted the opportunity to secure a mortgage loan. He emphasized that in assessing their financial capability, expenditures for using bank cards, rent, utilities, and other essential expenses will also be taken into consideration.
Citizens opting for a higher down payment will now have the opportunity to secure a more affordable loan from a bank. To expedite the utilization of allocated subsidy funds, the subsidy notification period will be shortened from 12 months to 4 months. Additionally, citizens who have not utilized the subsidy during this period will be granted the right to reapply for it.
Under the "My First Home" program, designed to make affordable housing accessible to the population, a dedicated housing company will be established under the ministry. A 36-hectare land allocation in the Zangiata district of the Tashkent region will facilitate the construction of 58 multi-story buildings, social institutions, and entertainment centers. The incorporation of commercial and retail spaces at market prices is expected to contribute to reducing housing costs.
Addressing concerns about construction expenses, customs duties on the import of wood, plywood, wooden formwork, and glass will be abolished until 2025. The customs duty exemption on high-quality cement will also be extended for an additional year, resulting in a 5 percent reduction in house construction costs just due to the cement subsidy.
Various issues related to the construction industry were discussed during the video conference, including bringing structures up to regional infrastructure capacity, supporting manufacturers of building materials, and adhering to seismic standards.
The ongoing efforts in the construction sector are dedicated to achieving these goals. Beyond being physical structures, buildings and structures being developed play a significant role in shaping the mood and lifestyle of the people. Moreover, the construction industry holds considerable importance in the economic structure, serving not only as a foundation for strengthening the national economy but also as a crucial tool in addressing pressing social issues. Ultimately, the construction activities contribute to creating a new way of life in New Uzbekistan.
Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services
economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan