This iconoclastic article endeavours to provide an alternative explanation to Uzbekistan’s positive and persistent economic growth during the early period of independence. The author notably assesses that the relative resilience of Uzbekistani economy during the transition period and its stable performance from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s are due to the gradualist approach of economic management which the Tashkent policy makers have adopted at the time. Uzbekistani authorities are also credited for having maintained the comparatively high level of expenditure on education and health ― although the quality of spending and thus the efficiency of these politics might be seriously questioned. Besides, the author also demonstrates that at the micro-level, the government’s two main priorities ― viz., industrialisation and strong social protection ― show somewhat contradictory. (For instance, the author reminds that the general population has remained extremely far from benefitting from energy self-sufficiency policy. And that at the same time the reallocation of resources from agriculture to industry has negatively affected the living standard of the rural population.) The general conclusion is that after almost two decades of “transition” the basic preconditions for building a market economy are still not met. The central planning type of management still refers to large-scale enterprises functioning in the key sectors of the economy. As to the banking sector, it is seen as a conduit for channelling soft credits, and is used as a tax collector. . . .

The Redaction
CER: II-7.4.G-681