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18.5 kg of sugar or the cheapest wreath for your future grave? Choose one

Written by on Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Politics and Society, Uzbekistan
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Yestreday, November 16, President Karimov signed a decree on increasing the salaries, pensions, stipends and social allowances which says that starting from 1 December 2009 salaries, pensions, social allowances and stipends will be increased 1.12 times on the average, or 12%.

Minimum monthly amounts will be the following:

– salaries: 37,680 sums (around $20 by the black market rate, $25 by the official bank rate);
– pensions: 74,660 sums (nearly $40 by the black market rate, $50 by the official bank rate);
– basic grade on the single tariff scale: 37,680 sums;
– allowances to disabled from childhood: 74,660 sums;
– allowances to elderly and disabled citizens without required work experience: 45,220 sums.

As it happens every time our government adds some money to our citizens’ income the prices in Uzbekistan raise for almost the same percentage. Which means that for ordinary people sustaining by their only income — salaries and pensions, — this coming increase doesn’t make a big difference.

Uzmetronom compares the new minimum monthly amount and the list makes me tear and feel shame for the government which holds billions and billions of money and doens’t want to share it with people (who are also considered as a holders of natural resources of the country they live and belong to as citizens).

Here is a short list what you can buy (1 item only) for 37,680 sums (around $20 by the black market rate, $25 by the official bank rate):

- 18.5 kg of sugar;
- 25 liters of gasoline of low quality;
- 4.5 kg of meat;
- 70 one-time payments within the public transportation;
- 15 kg of apples;

For pensioners and old people the mentioned above information agency gives a sad prognosis. For the same amount of money they can buy (1 item only):

- 1 cheapest wreath for their potential grave; or,
- 1/6 of the future tomb made of a very cheap substitute for the plywood…

For people of Uzbekistan last two comparisons brightly represent the seventh heaven they always hear descriptions about from Islam Karimov on TV and which they never felt or saw with their own eyes in real life.

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