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Session of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan

On June 3, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov convened a regular Cabinet session to sum up the running year’s five-month state-of-the-economy results, as well as to consider a number of priority issues of state life, and discuss some draft documents.

Having announced the session agenda, the leader of nation gave the floor to Cabinet Deputy Chairman B. Hojamammedov to report on the country’s macroeconomic indicators in the period under report. As the vice-premier informed, the January-May indices had shown the dynamic national economic growth. A GDP growth rate reached the high level, including in the following sectors: industry - 102.2 percent; construction - 105.5 p.c.; transport and communications - 110.1 p.c.; trade - 116.3 p.c.; agriculture - 106.5 p.c.; and services - 109.8 p.c.

According to the performance review of ministries and sectoral agencies, high indicators were recorded in all sectors of the national economy. On the whole, production growth rates made up 103 percent.

As compared to last year’s index, retail trade increased by 16.6 percent.

Foreign trade turnover was also in steady growth.

Over the 2016 five-month period, the State Budget receipts and outlays totaled 91.6 percent and 87.8 percent, respectively. Wages, pensions, state and student benefits were paid in full. An average monthly wage rose by 9.5 percent in comparison with the same period of 2015.

Reporting on the construction progress of large industrial and socio-cultural facilities in all the regions, the vice-premier informed that the volume of assimilated investments from all financial sources had hit 105.7 percent against the same period of last year.

According to preliminary figures, 25 water and sewage treatment plants, 99 social facilities, over 790.4 thousand sq. m. of dwelling, as well as engineering systems and other infrastructure projects are under construction in the country as a part of the revised Rural Development Program. The volume of assimilated investments totaled 948.3 million manats.

In line with the main industrial development trends in velayats, 197 construction projects were delivered; 123 projects are currently under implementation. When in operation, new enterprises will contribute to job creation and goods abundance.

Having heard the report, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov stressed that during the transition to the market-based economy the comprehensive measures should be taken to maintain a steady growth pace in all sectors, and to continue the work on stepping up the production of competitive domestic commodities and their exports to foreign markets. Speaking of the importance of analyzing the financial conditions of ministries and agencies on a monthly basis, the President of Turkmenistan gave the vice-premier a number of concrete commissions.

Cabinet Deputy Chairman, Director of the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources under the President of Turkmenistan Ya. Kakaev focused his report on the five-month outcomes of activities in the oil-and-gas sector.

The report included the information on technical-economic indicators achieved in the production of crude oil and gas condensate, processing of hydrocarbons, as well as output of oil products.

When compared to the same period in 2015, natural and associated gas production reached 100.4 p.c.; gas exports to foreign countries stood at 102 p.c.; drilling operations totaled 129.4 p.c. The volume of investments assimilated in the fuel and energy sector from all financial sources increased by 17.5 percent.

The vice-premier also centered on the construction progress of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (Turkmen section), having informed that the project work was right on schedule.

The head of state was submitted a draft Decree on granting a loan (over US $45 million) to the “Turkmengas” State Concern for financing the initial phase of the TAPI gas pipeline project.

Summing up the report, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov pointed out the need to step up efforts to implement the “Turkmenistan’s Oil-and-Gas Industry Development Program for the period till 2030”.

Having signed the Decree, the President of Turkmenistan gave the vice-premier a number of specific instructions on strict adherence to the construction schedule of the TAPI gas pipeline passing through our country, and on building of associated service infrastructure along its route.

Then, Cabinet Deputy Chairman R. Bazarov presented the report on this year’s five-month activities in the sectors, he is responsible for.

On the whole, the production, accomplished works and rendered services growth rates in the agro-industrial sector made up 104.4 percent, in particular, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Economy - 106.5 p.c.; the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environment Protection and Land Resources - 109 p.c.; the State Food Industry Association - 101.5 p.c.; and the “Turkmen Atlary” State Association - 125.3 p.c.

In comparison with the last year’s similar period, the manufacturing growth rates of different products were as follows: flour - 101.6 p.c.; bread and bakery products - 101.9 p.c.; meat - 102.1 p.c.; milk - 102.3 p.c.; eggs - 105.9 p.c.; and vegetables - 167.5 p.c. The plan for assimilated investments was fulfilled 150.5 percent by the sectoral ministries and agencies.

The report also addressed the implementation progress of seasonal agri-works, including the grain harvesting campaign launched in Akhal, Balkan, Lebap and Mary velayats on June 1, and treatment of areas under cotton.

A draft Decree on construction of modern livestock complexes (with an annual production capacity 200 tons each) in Ak Bugday and Tejen etraps (Akhal velayat), Karabekaul etrap (Lebap velayat), and Karakum etrap (Mary velayat) was presented to the head of state for consideration. The facilities will be constructed by private enterprises, members of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan to order of the State Food Industry Association.

Having concentrated on the agri-campaigns ongoing in the country, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov demanded to keep constant control over the grain harvest issues.

After signing the Decree “On construction of modern livestock complexes in the country”, the President of Turkmenistan gave a number of concrete commissions on ensuring the high level of automation at the facilities, and completing them with specialized equipment.

The head of state highlighted the importance of the projects currently under implementation as a part of the State Program for import-substituting production in Turkmenistan and the State Program for increasing exports of Turkmenistan-made products, including in the agricultural sector and food industry.

The running year’s five-month activities in the supervised sector were in the focus of the report made by Cabinet Deputy Chairman B. Ereshov.

The production, performed works and provided services growth rates within the Ministry of Industry of Turkmenistan made up 121 percent. As compared with last year’s indices, the output values of the following materials totaled in the percentage terms: cement - 102.4; non-metallic building materials - 115.3; claydite - 100.2; reinforced concrete components - 108.2.

As for the Ministry of Textile Industry, the production plan was fulfilled 107.4 percent over the period under review. The growth rate reached 101.1 p.c., including the production of cotton yarn - 100.1 p.c. and cotton fabrics - 100.2 p.c.; ready-to-wear clothes and knitwear - 100.3 p.c.; footwear - 100.1 p.c.; leather - 100 p.c. Textile products sales profits amounted to 530,500,000 manats with the overall profit of 23,600,000 manats.

In the January-May period, the production output of the “Turkmenhaly” State Association totaled 103.6 p.c. Altogether, over 18.5 thousand sq. m. of carpet products were manufactured.

The volume of production and the rates of works accomplished by the “Turkmenhimiya” State Concern stood at 107.6 percent with the growth rate reaching 118 percent. In particular, the production growth rates were identified as follows: mineral fertilizers - 108.3 p.c.; technical iodine - 100.3 p.c.; technical carbon - 100 p.c.; sodium sulfate - 113.4 p.c.

The total production output and services rendered by the State Committee on Fish Industry of Turkmenistan reached the rate of 189.8 p.c., including fishing activities – 130.9 p.c., processing and canning of different fish products - 123.7 p.c.

In the after-report comments, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov emphasized the importance of speeding up the growth rates achieved in the industrial sector, while expanding the most promising areas in the context of the state programs aimed at import substitution and Turkmenistan-made products exports increase.

After giving a number of issue-related commissions, the nation’s leader pointed out the need to take better advantage of the investment and industrial potential of the country’s small and medium-sized businesses in tackling the assigned tasks.

Cabinet Deputy Chairman, Manager of the Presidential Administration and the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Sh. Durdylyev was the next to report on the five-month outcomes of activities in the sectors, he is in charge of.

The volumes of production output and services provided by self-supporting enterprises and organizations of the Ashgabat city’s Khyakimlik amounted to over 125,238,000 manats. The growth rate hit 113.5 percent against the last year’s indicator.

The investments assimilated by the capital’s Khyakimlik totaled 3,284,037,000 manats with the growth rate reaching 109.6 percent when compared to the last year’s similar period. The total output, works performed and services rendered by the Ministry of Construction and Architecture of Turkmenistan made up 113.9 percent above the target with the growth rate standing at 107.7 percent.

Over the period under observation, departments of the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan succeeded in obtaining good results; the production and services plan was fulfilled 117.6 percent. The growth rate hit 108.1 percent compared with the last year’s indices.

During this period, the country produced 9 billion 292 million 719 thousand kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity; the growth rate made up 101.3 percent. Energy exports totaled 1 billion 535 million 824 thousand kWh with the growth indicator reaching 108.5 percent.

As for the Ministry of Municipal Services of Turkmenistan, the production output values, works and services equaled to 70 million 852.3 thousand manats (112.7 percent above the target). The growth rate made up 110.5 percent.

The “Turkmenavtoyollary” State Concern executed its production, works and services plan 103 percent. The growth rate reached 108.5 percent in comparison with the last year’s January-May period.

The report also looked at the implementation progress of works on Ashgabat’s redevelopment.

Commenting on the report, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov instructed the vice-premier to continue efforts to maintain the rapid development paces, and to ensure high performance of the sectors and institutions, he is responsible for. The head of state also drew attention of the vice-premier to the need to keep close control over the issues of further development of Ashgabat, which should befit its high capital city status in all respects.

In his turn, Cabinet Deputy Chairman B. Atdaev informed about the five-month work results in the trade sector.

Compared with the last year’s figures, overall trade turnover of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations exceeded 2.7 billion manats with the growth rate standing at 121.6 percent. The profits earned by the ministry totaled 256 million manats (the growth rate - 113.8 percent).

The State Commodities and Raw Materials Exchange conducted 100 transactions and registered 6,747 contracts (worth over 10.9 billion manats).

Import-export and construction contracts exceeded 6.3 billion manats and 2.8 billion manats, respectively. The investments assimilated during this period of time amounted to 31.5 million manats (2.9 times more against the last year’s similar indicator).

As for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the growth rate of services provided stood at 118.9 percent. The within-said period was marked by 11 exhibitions and 13 conferences.

The Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Union of Turkmenistan produced industrial goods worth 178 million manats (with a 35.2 percent increase in output), agricultural and food products worth 300 million manats (with a 29.8 percent increase in output). The construction and erection works accomplished by the union amounted to 1.9 billion manats with the growth rate reaching 102 percent; the amount of trade turnover and services rendered totaled 4.2 billion manats (the growth rate - 123 percent) and 361 million manats (the growth rate - 135.2 percent), respectively.

The vice-premier also informed about the outcomes of the Turkmen delegation’s working trip to Germany, and meetings with leaders of the country’s ministries and sectoral agencies held in Berlin on May 30 to discuss the prospects of bilateral trade-economic cooperation development.

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov emphasized the significance of promoting partner contacts with Germany’s leading manufacturers to diversify our country’s industrial enterprises.

At the same time, the intensification of international business relations provides an opportunity to attract foreign investments, as well as introduce state-of-the-art technologies into various economic sectors and social sphere, the nation’s leader said, having instructed the vice-premier to make full use of the considerable potential of our country’s private business while tackling the tasks.

This year’s five-month-work results in the supervised spheres, cultural events and ceremonies of inaugurating socio-cultural facilities to take place in June were the key issues covered by the report made by Cabinet Deputy Chairperson G. Mammedova.

Having commissioned to hold the events, including the Culture Week in Mary velayat, at a better and higher level in terms of organization and content, the nation’s leader emphasized the role of the upcoming creative forum in popularizing the national spiritual heritage, our country’s achievements in the modern epoch, and addressed the vice-premier specific issue-associated instructions.

Then, the floor was given to Cabinet Deputy Chairman S. Toilyev to report on the running year’s five-month activities in sectors, he is in charge of.

Over the period under review, 213 types of textbooks and educational aids were prepared for publication (76 of them were published).

Talented Turkmen schoolchildren competed successfully in two International Subject Contests, having won respectively 51 (14 gold, 14 silver and 23 bronze) medals and 8 (2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze) medals. Representatives of young generation of Turkmenistan also took active part in online intellectual contests with 176 medals won by schoolchildren, and 146 medals taken by students of higher education institutions.

The necessary measures were taken to prepare for the summer holidays. As was informed, during the first season 7, 095 children would be on vacation in 14 children’s recreation centers in Gokdere; 1,783 children would spend their holidays in 8 health centers in the “Avaza” National Tourist Zone; new and 16 existing recreation centers in velayats would welcome 1,500 and 605 children, respectively; and 21, 965 children would spend their vacation in 703 summer school centers.

The report also covered the results of work done to strengthen the material-technical base of the country’s healthcare and medical industry. The growth rate of revenues collected from the national voluntary health insurance payments made up 106.6 p.c. The output of pharmaceutical products and sales of medicinal drugs totaled 111 percent and 116 percent, respectively.

The month’s mass physical training-sports and cultural-health improving campaign was organized in our country under the slogan “Health and Happiness” from April 5 to May 5. On its final day, the riding campaign was launched to mark the 500-day countdown to the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

In the period under report, our country hosted 110 domestic competitions and 66 large mass sporting events. Our athletes participated in 72 international tournaments and won 219 prizes, including 74 gold, 68 silver, 77 bronze medals (81 medals more as compared to the same period of last year) with 11 medals taken in the world championships, 111 in the Asian championships, and 97 in other prestigious tournaments.

Stressing that the top-priority spheres such as education, science, healthcare and sports would remain the main focus for the state, the nation’s leader highlighted the need to carry on the wide-ranging goal-oriented work on their further development with the emphasis on practical application of innovative methods and leading-edge technologies.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov also emphasized the importance of ensuring the high organizational level of the Asian Games-related activities.

Drawing attention to the summer holidays, the head of state pointed out the necessity of creating the most favorable conditions for good rest, interesting leisure and health-improving activities of young people of Turkmenistan and gave the vice-premier a number of concrete instructions.

The report of Cabinet Deputy Chairman S. Satlykov was focused on the running year’s five-month activities in sectors, he is responsible for.

On the whole, in the transport and communications sectors the plan was fulfilled 114.4 percent.

The work plan was executed 121.5 percent by the Ministry of Railway Transport. The indicators for goods transportation and passenger services made up 101.1 percent and 103.9 percent, respectively.

The growth rate of services rendered by the Ministry of Motor Transport totaled 101.3 percent; freight and passenger services hit 101.4 and 101.1 percent, respectively.

When it comes to the Ministry of Communications, the growth rate of works performed in January-May reached 112.6 percent. To meet the demand for communications services, 214.8 thousand telephone points, including 193.6 thousand cellular, and 21.2 thousand fixed-line telephone points were provided in the country.

The growth rate of air services rendered by the “Turkmenhovayollary” State National Service made up 119.2 percent. The indicator for goods transportation and passenger services reached 100 percent and 106.7 percent, respectively.

The growth rate of works accomplished by the State Sea and River Transport Service was 100.1 percent.

In the comments on the report, the President of Turkmenistan gave the commissions on development of the transport and communications sectors in compliance with the present-day requirements, and strengthening of the material-technical base of its departments.

Cabinet Deputy Chairman, Foreign Minister R. Meredov concentrated his report on five-month activity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a context of the country’s 2013-2017 State Foreign Policy Conception. Over the within-said period, 201 foreign delegations paid visits to Turkmenistan through the Foreign Ministry. At the same time, 422 Turkmen delegations were sent abroad. 77 conferences, meetings and other events were held in our country and beyond. Turkmenistan’s regulatory-legal framework in the field of international relations was replenished with 51 new documents.

The accounting period marked a number of bilateral foreign-ministry-level consultations, intended to promote the fruitful interstate dialogue. Meetings of the Turkmen-Bulgarian, Turkmen-Saudi, Turkmen-Hungarian Intergovernmental Commissions and the Turkmen-German Working Group took place.

Several bilateral business forums were organized in Turkmenistan and beyond. The city of Frankfurt hosted Economy Days of Turkmenistan in Germany.

Having centered on the key tasks assigned to the country’s Foreign Ministry and diplomatic corps, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov gave a number of issue-related commissions, including the ones concerning the promotion and practical implementation of Turkmenistan’s constructive international initiatives, which had won all-round support from the world community.

The Foreign Minister also informed about the outcomes of working trips made by our country’s delegations to the State of Israel, Palestine and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on May 29-June1 with the aim of strengthening and fostering the productive partnership with the Middle East countries.

Having laid a special stress on development of traditionally friendly relations with Middle East countries as one of the priority trends in the foreign policy strategy of neutral Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov gave the vice-premier concrete commissions to keep the well-directed work going in this area.

Speaking of a soon-to-be-opened maternity hospital in Afghanistan, built by Turkmenistan to render considerable assistance to the neighboring country in rebuilding its social infrastructure, the nation’s leader assigned the senior officials concerned to supply the new healthcare institution with necessary medical equipment and other facilities.

In this connection, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov also instructed to send a group of doctors and nurses on a mission to the friendly country to render practical assistance to Afghan colleagues in organizing work at the maternity hospital and local medical personnel training.

Having pointed out the symbolic significance of the event’s coincidence with the beginning of the month of Oraza, which is holy for every Muslim and a special time for good deeds, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov highlighted that our country would continue to render assistance to the brotherly Afghan people in strengthening of peace and socio-economic revival of the country.

During the session, the nation’s leader signed the Ukase, having appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to the People’s Republic of China Ch. Rustemova as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of our country to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The report of Mejlis Chairperson A. Nurberdyeva was an extensive coverage of the five-month activity of the national parliament.

Emphasizing the importance of the parliament’s activity, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov concentrated on the issues of further modernization of the national legislation.

Touching upon the preparations for the Elders’ Council meeting, the President of Turkmenistan stressed that the revised Constitution would be submitted for consideration by the national forum delegates, and in this context, all proposals received from the citizens should be carefully studied.

Addressing the session, the head of state directed attention to a number of topical issues to be addressed urgently. As President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov noted, the global economy is currently on the upturn, however the process is too slow, and according to specialists, can be exposed to risks. The world economy is still suffering from the impact of the global economic recession, the nation’s leader continued, having pointed out that this creates some difficulties for the implementation of the country’s development programs. We maintain the GDP growth rates at the level of over 6 percent, but we should not stop at what has been accomplished, the head of state said.

Speaking to the session participants, and first and foremost to Vice-Premier B. Hojamammedov, the President of Turkmenistan identified an increase in exports of the goods produced by domestic enterprises as the top-priority objective to be addressed immediately. The head of state noted that 2.2 percent increase had been reached in economic sectors not related to the fuel and energy complex. However, it is far from sufficient.

Addressing Vice-Premiers B. Ereshov and B. Atdaev, the leader of nation pointed out the necessity to more actively draw on the capacities of entrepreneurs, establish joint ventures, as well as develop new manufactures with the use of latest advances in science and the state-of-the-art technologies.

Effective measures should be taken to reduce the number of state-run enterprises and organizations, and to expand the private sector, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov continued. Some state-owned businesses in the energy and transport-communications sectors, infrastructure facilities, as well as many other enterprises should be privatized. Today, it has become obvious that privately-owned manufacturing facilities perform better and more efficiently than state-operated ones, the nation’s leader said. It is necessary to gradually amend the laws adopted in the past to make life easier for the people during the first years of independence to provide many benefits to the country’s citizens. Today the people in our country enjoy high living standards, and these benefits cause difficulties in the transition to market-based economy, the head of state said.

There is a need to put the privatization program on a fast track, the President of Turkmenistan said, having noted that stock promotion, the formation of securities market, and open competitive tendering should be the principal instruments of privatization.

This will also create new possibilities for promoting mutually advantageous cooperation between investors.

Addressing Mejlis Chairperson A. Nurberdyeva the head of state highlighted that all these provisions should be enshrined in the draft Constitution of Turkmenistan, which, in turn, should come up for extensive discussion at the Elders’ Council meeting.

Speaking to Vice-Premier B. Hojamammedov and placing emphasis on the state programs, new economic development models, which would be a basis for the far-reaching structural reforms, the nation’s leader pointed out the importance of giving special attention to efficiency enhancement of the policy pursued in the state sector, as well as the reduction of the level of state participation in the economy. Strengthening of market mechanisms, stimulation of free competition and promotion of private business initiatives are our main objectives in the private sector, the President of Turkmenistan said.

New educational reform programs should be worked out, the nation’s leader continued. Addressing Vice-Premier S. Toilyev, the head of state centered on the conditions to be created to allow school leavers to get jobs in private enterprises without any additional training. To this end, business principles, as well as the provisions of the relevant laws should be introduced into the academic curriculum in schools. This also refers to higher educational institutions, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov said, having stressed that all the field-specific institutions of higher education, especially the Turkmen State Institute of Economy and Management, should train highly qualified specialists in the field of management.

In this context, the head of state highlighted the need to organize regular training and transition to fee-paying education, while developing close cooperation with foreign universities, which train specialists for this area, and inviting the foreign specialists for participation in this work.

In this connection, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov assigned all the vice-premiers to reconsider the development trends for the period till 2030 in the sectors they are responsible for, in the light of current global economic situation, and to submit the relevant drafts to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval.

Our country’s development issues will receive more detailed consideration at an enlarged Cabinet session on the first-half-year outcomes when performances of leaders of some ministries and agencies will be assessed, the head of state said, having stressed the need to ensure adequate preparations for the session.

Speaking of the beginning of Oraza month on June 6, the nation’s leader noted that every day of this holy month is full of cherished hopes, mercy, kindness and noble deeds. It embodies our people’s time-honored customs and rites, their cultural and spiritual heritage.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov congratulated the session participants and the whole nation on the upcoming month of Oraza. “May all your prayers and sadaqah (voluntary charity) offered and given during this month in honor of the home country and for the people’s well-being will be heard and accepted by the Almighty – Kabul Bolsun!”, the President of Turkmenistan said.

Closing the Cabinet session, the head of state wished the meetings attendees good health and great success in their work for the sake of the native country’s prosperity, and the people’s happy life.

State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)