The President signed a decree "On measures for the effective organization of public administration in the field of competition development and consumer protection within the framework of administrative reforms".
According to the document, the Committee for Developing Competition and Consumer Protection was instructed to submit, in the prescribed manner, a draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on regulating the activities of natural monopolies through independent regulators with an analysis of ongoing projects, as well as optimization of legislative acts, by December 20 of this year, together with interested ministries and departments regulating the tariffs of natural monopolies, with their complete inventory.
In addition, until January 1, 2025, the functions of the committee for the regulation and control of tariffs of subjects of natural monopoly will be gradually transferred to the independent market regulators being created.
It should be recalled that according to First Deputy Energy Minister Azim Akhmedkhodjayev, by September 2023, a new energy development program will be presented in Uzbekistan, which includes the liberalization of gas and electricity prices and the introduction of social consumption norms.
Last year, it was planned to increase the basic tariffs for residents by 10% and switch to differentiated tariffs from July 1, but this did not happen. It is envisaged that tariff differentiation will force consumers to save and will reduce subsidies from the budget for the relatively wealthy and most energy-consuming segment of the population.
Economists say an open and competitive energy market must be created to fundamentally address power and gas outages. In the state program-2022, many tasks were set for energy reform in the same direction, but the implementation of most of them was delayed.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his speech to parliament at the end of 2022, said that the transition to a free energy market is the right way, but stressed that it will be gradual.
In February 2023, the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank said that liberalization could begin in May, which is included in the inflation forecast.
In March of this year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance announced that tariffs for electricity and gas for household consumers in Uzbekistan will not increase in 2023.