President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov spoke at the session of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan and noted that environmental protection, careful management and development of natural resources are priority areas of the state policy.
One clear example of our country’s major contribution to addressing the global problem of preserving the planet’s water resources and to tackling environmental issues is the construction of the Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake in the Karakum.
Another important issue was raised in the context of the socio-economic activity. In the uneasy transition period, we had introduced housing benefits for the free use of gas, electric energy, water and salt; minimum charges had been imposed for communal services; and other benefits.
But times change. We are living in new economic conditions now. The demand of the day is to effectively use natural resources, to adapt the society, the country and every citizen to the market relations, and this requires a thoughtful approach towards these issues.
Income of the population has increased noticeably and wide business opportunities were created for every family. At the same time, not only the current generation, but also the generations to come must be able to benefit from the country’s natural resources. In this regard, it is reasonable to adjust a payment system for resources that have been made available free of charge: natural gas, electric energy, drinking water, housing and communal services.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov raised another important issue for consideration of the People’s Council: the primary aspects of socio-economic development in the draft State Budget for 2019.
Maintaining consistently high economic growth rate due to the intensive development of economic sectors and diversification of the economy; the implementation of large-scale investment projects of particular importance and of international and regional significance will be the primary areas here, said the head of state.
The social policy in 2019 will be geared towards enhancing the living standards and improving the quality of life of the population, as well as towards creating opportunities for the promotion of human potential based on efficiency gains in healthcare, education, culture and other activities related to public services.
The crucial task is to ensure social protection of the population through measures to increase wages, pensions and stipends (not less than 10 percent). The financing of the social sphere must be no less than 75-80 percent of the total expenditures of the State budget of the country.
The significant part of capital investments in 2019 will aim to develop the production of such valuable products as polyethylene, polypropylene and high octane fuels retrieved from hydrocarbons.
Major investments will focus on the construction of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India pipeline.
In the upcoming year we will also devote special attention to the development of local power industry, the construction of new and the upgrade of the existing power plants. This will allow boosting export of electricity to the neighboring countries and secure uninterrupted supplies to the domestic consumers.
In chemical industry, foundations will be laid for several industrial enterprises to produce iodine and bromine. The Investment Program for 2019 must also focus on the development of transport and communication. Next year we plan to allocate major funds for the improvement and modernization of the Ashgabat–Turkmenbashi, Ashgabat–Mary–Turkmenabat–Farap and Ashgabat–Dashoguz highways. The successful implementation of the Investment Program of Turkmenistan will guarantee creation of thousands of new jobs.
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