Please accept my sincerest, most cordial congratulations on the New Year 2012.
Gathered round the festive table in these exciting moments just minutes ahead of the new year, we inadvertently and quite naturally recall everything that ties us to the outgoing year, namely, the tremendous transformation and our accomplishments made in renovating the country, the memorable events and impressions, our joys and concerns.
I believe we all agree that the passing year will stay in our mind primarily as the one when we widely celebrated a great date in the history of our Motherland – the twentieth anniversary of its independence that opened up a path to a new, free and prosperous life for our nation.
I would be correct to say from this perspective that the year 2011 has proved an integral part and logical extension of dynamic advancement on the path chosen by us twenty years ago of wide-ranging reforms acknowledged and winning appropriate respect of the international community.
It is hardly a secret that every year is distinct with its own climatic peculiarities – be it a shortage of water, extreme weather or other freaks of nature – resulting in due setbacks and difficulties, first and foremost in agriculture and consequently in our everyday life. Nonetheless, we have every reason to assert that the retiring year, notwithstanding the quandaries and tests it has brought, has by and large been fruitful and successful for our nation.
As the prominent organization, International Monetary Fund, has put it, despite the ongoing global financial and economic downturn and its impact, Uzbekistan has been among quite a few countries that did well. With its 8.3 percent growth in gross domestic product in 2011, Uzbekistan has testified to the fact that the invariably high rates of economic growth in the country observed in the last few years are firm and steadfast.
The extensive efforts in renewing and modernization, intensifying the democratic reforms, liberalization of all spheres of life, developing civil society institutions have been kept forward in Uzbekistan during the departing year.
The achieved high indicators that we could only dream of in the past is the confirmation of the correctness of development model chosen by us, the efficiency of new industries set up by us that have become locomotives of our economy. Dozens of modern enterprises have been put into operation; such leading sectors as fuel and energy, mining, chemical, textile, automotive, capital construction, transport and communications have been afforded accelerated development.
Our farmers deserve special reverence: they have harvested 6.8 million tons of grain, nearly 3.5 million tons of cotton, more than 8.2 million tons of vegetables and melons, some 3 million tons of orchard crops by their everyday selfless labor, having overcome all the toughest complications of season.
I would like to stress in particular that the remarkable achievements made in 2011 in the real sector of economy have allowed us to raise salaries, stipends and social allowances by 20.2 percent, pensions by 26.2 percent, resulting in the growth in real incomes of population by 23.1 percent.
The critical stride toward addressing social issues and employment matters has become the creation of approximately 1 million jobs in 2011 owing to the modernization and diversification of economy, provision of new substantial privileges and preferences for small business, private entrepreneurship and farming, growing to become a genuine driving force and backbone for our society.
The passing year will by right inhabit a well-deserved place in the history of our country thanks to the wide-scale schemes run by us, the essence of which revolves around securing human interests. We all naturally take pride in the fact that as a result of well and sound social policy and consistent efforts undertaken during the years of independent development in improving the health of population, life expectancy has risen significantly, death rates in general, maternal and child mortality in particular, have dramatically diminished. One of the most striking in the post-Soviet space, these accomplishments have been worthily appreciated by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other eminent international institutions.
I do not think there is a need to cite impressive outcomes in detail, the ones of persistent efforts taken in 2011 in education sphere and nurturing the younger generation, the area of critical importance for us. I am convinced we, the senior generation of fathers and mothers, can barely stand indifferent to the successes made by the growing generation, the triumphs of our children and grandchildren, who are turning into a decisive force to define the future of our nation.
Thinking and speaking of this subject, one would very much prefer that none of us forget the indisputable truth the prosperity of our land is undeniably contingent on. It is imperative that everyone living in this blessed land of Uzbekistan clearly understand the necessity of taking care, as the apply of the eye, of the reigning peace and stability in our country, the atmosphere of kindness, humanism and mutual understanding, interethnic and civil harmony – our invaluable wealth, the fundamentals of all our high achievements made thanks to the creative and self-sacrificing diligence of our people.
In this regard, we ought to be always vigilant and attentive in these disquieted and anxious times, foster our youth as comprehensively advanced individuals in the spirit of national and universal values, and counteract various spoiling influences alien to our mentality.
Seeing the year 2011 off, every one of us indeed binds their dearest dreams and hopes for the upcoming year 2012 announced the Year of Family in our country.
I am confident we are all well aware of the fact that the decision [to announce the forthcoming year as the one of Family] was premised on such noble and at the same time tangible goals as comprehensive support for the institution of family, first of all young families, consolidation of the role and importance of mahalla in this respect, creation of even more extensive opportunities for our women – custodians of hearth. In a word, what is at issue is bolstering family wellbeing and in the end the prosperity of our entire people.
To further these goals, sixty percent of national budget expenditures are projected to be assigned to social sphere in 2012, primarily to the advancement of healthcare and education, science and culture. Salary rates, pensions, stipends and social allowances are expected to be raised by more than twenty percent, while real incomes of population are to grow by 22-24 percent.
A great significance will be placed on the continuation of program launched two years ago aiming to create favorable living conditions for our people, rural residents first of all. The program stipulates the development of rural infrastructure that fully meets contemporary requirements, provision for housing built on best model designs, ensuring modern public utilities. This year, 7,400 families have become owners of comfortable housing by no means inferior to urban conditions, totaling 1.1 million square meters. The number of those who are to throw house-warming parties in 2012 is to reach 8,510 families.
Meeting the new year with these noble goals and kind intentions, we believe it will prove even better and eventful for our country and people.
My dear compatriots!
The conclusive 2011 is now going to retreat to history, giving its way to the year 2012.
Hugging you all in my mind, I earnestly greet you a Happy New Year time and again!
In these moving moments, I express my heartfelt, kindest wishes, namely:
a long life to our aksakals [elder men] and mothers;
beauty and love to our adored women, sisters and daughters;
happiness and best of luck to our youth!
May the Almighty keep us from all misfortunes and disasters, and be an unswerving support for us on our way forward!
May peace and harmony reign in our homes and our land!
Happy New Year, dear friends!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan