Prices up again in Uzbekistan

The largest banknote is 1,000 sums in Uzbekistan
Tashkent residents have already felt considerable price increases as they are awaiting salary rises.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov on 9 November signed a decree on a 10% rise in salaries, pensions, student and social allowances.

Traditionally, the decree was passed “with a view to steadily increase the population’s incomes and standard of living”, however, many people in Tashkent think that the rise can in no way compensate for sky-rocketing prices for many products, goods and services.

“Our pockets are being picked again – pensions will be increased in December, but we have to pay new prices already in November,” pensioner Liliya Fedorovna said.

According to her, she bought a 200 g butter brick for 5,500 sums just recently, but the same product already costs 6,500 sums (about $2.4) now.

Prices have risen for many other products and goods too.

“I bought soap for 1,200 sums, but the same product now costs 1,700 sums,” a 45-year-old woman, Lyusya, said.

Lyusya said the milk price had risen too.

“A one-litre pack of milk cost 3,200-3,500 sums, but it costs over 4,000 sums now,” Lyusya said.

Private milk sellers used to sell a litre of milk for 1,500 sums, carrying big milk cans through the city’s residential areas.

Now the price has risen to 2,000 sums, which is largely linked to the fact that the majority of cows are expected to calve soon so they are producing less milk.

However, private milk sellers are going to further increase the price for their product.

Many of them bring milk to Tashkent from suburbs by train, but the Uzrailpass joint-stock company increased the fair by 50% on 15 November on suburban trains.

“I do not commute alone to sell milk but with my wife and daughter, we need to compensate for our costs,” said a milk seller called Tursun, who lives near the town of Yangiyol.

For many men, a recent rise in prices for alcohol products has become particularly noticeable after many wine and spirit shops were deprived of their licences on 1 October.

“The brandy of Samarkand brand cost 6,000 sums, but it costs 8,000 [sums] now, Legenda cost 10,000 and it costs 12,000 now,” a Tashkent resident, Alisher, 50, said.

Our pockets are being picked again – pensions will be increased in December, but we have to pay new prices already in November

Pensioner Liliya Fedorovna
Meanwhile, shortages of petrol at Tashkent’s fuel stations have caused a sudden rise in taxi fares.

“A week ago I could travel from the Chilonzor-4 residential district to Beshagach for 2,000 sums, now not every taxi driver agrees to drive me for less than 3,000,” Mahmud, 40, said.

According to him, Tashkent residents, just as the whole population of Uzbekistan, are not happy at all by another presidential decree to raise salaries and pensions because entrepreneurs immediately find numerous reasons to increase prices for their goods and services.

The minimum monthly wage will be increased to 79,590 sums (about $30) on 1 December. The previous rise took place on 1 August 2012 when it grew by 15% and amounted to 72,355 sums.