Since 2003 Tajikistan has been pursuing a policy of legalization, or declaration to tax and other authorities, of citizens' income and property. After Tajikistan's most recent attempts at legalization have been reassuring, parliament has extended the term of the monetary amnesty for one more year -- until January 5, 2025. Over the course of the policy that was set in motion by the law "on amnesty in connection with legalization of assets and money of citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan," the total amount of legalized, declared money amounted to $540m and 4,000 certificates of property. That data was cited by Firdavs Tolibzoda, chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan. The authorities have extended the program several times, although it was originally designed to run for a year, and its efficacy means it's getting yet another extension. The law provides for voluntary declaration of money and property. Thus, holders are exempt from liability and can avoid paying taxes, fines and interest on those fees and penalties. These conditions, as well as maintaining secrecy of ownership information, are guaranteed by the state. This is not the first time that Tajikistan has conducted monetary amnesty drives: legalization in the country has already been attempted three times, but this is the first time that both property and finances can be legalized at the same time. According to the Global Organized Crime Index, Tajikistan remains the country with the highest risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in the world. Despite the fact that the country is battling these types of crimes, the shadow economy still operates at a high level in Central Asia's poorest country. Bringing assets and income into the legal or "white" economy out of the shadow economy is seen as an effective way to attract additional funds to the country's economy and to increase the growth financing of its industries. It's expected that the new funds will help to create additional jobs by creating new enterprises and increasing the capitalization of existing ones. Only money and property which were not previously listed in official declarations can be legalized. At the same time, the state allows legalization of illegal assets that fall under more than 60 articles of the criminal and administrative code of the republic.
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Tajikistan's Anti-Corruption Agency has undergone a change of personnel. By decree of President Emomali Rakhmon, Sukhrob Safarzoda has been dismissed from the post of First Deputy Director of the agency, and replaced by Barot Rasuli. Muzaffar Ahmadzoda was also removed from the post of Deputy Director, with Firuz Kamolzoda appointed in his place. Meanwhile, Hilolbi Kurbonzoda became Deputy Director of the State Service Agency, and Firuz Sharifzoda became First Deputy Head of the Main Department for Protection of State Secrets. President Rahmon held meetings with the new heads, drawing their attention to the shortcomings and problems that exist in the work of not only just these state bodies, but also others.
Representatives of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan met in Bishkek on February 5th to complete negotiations on another 3.71 km of the common state border, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic has reported. The next meeting will be held in Tajikistan, with no date yet specified. Currently, approximately 90% of the border has been demarcated, with the remaining 10% still considered disputed. A long-standing source of conflict between the two nations, it is emblematic of the problem that even the length of the border - sometimes cited as being 975-kilomtres long, and at others times 972-kilomteres - is rarely agreed upon. As of January 2023, Tajikistan’s President Rahmon stated that 614-kilometres had been settled upon, backtracking on a previously stated figure of 664.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14394" img_size="full" el_class="scond-image" parallax_scroll="no" woodmart_inline="no"][vc_column_text woodmart_inline="no" text_larger="no"]In a sign of thawing relations, however, on November 9th 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic announced that a further 17.98 kilometers of the border had been agreed. With its scant natural resources and dwindling water supplies, the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of numerous skirmishes for many years. In 2014, all borders between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were closed indefinitely to Kyrgyz and Tajik citizens following clashes over a bypass road in disputed territory; mortars were fired and both armies suffered casualties. Trouble spilled over again throughout 2021 and 2022, reportedly starting over a water dispute in the Vorukh enclave, and leaving an unknown number in the hundreds killed, and up to 136,000 people evacuated.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14397" img_size="full" el_class="scond-image" parallax_scroll="no" woodmart_inline="no"][vc_column_text woodmart_inline="no" text_larger="no"]An enduring example of the chaos left behind by the USSR, the arbitrary division of Central Asia into Soviet Socialist Republics wholly disregarded existing cultural and geographical realities. This is exemplified by Stalin's application of Lenin’s policy on the “self-identification of working people,” a classic divide-and-rule play which saw culturally Tajik cities such as Samarkand and Bukhara being incorporated into Uzbek territory. In exchange, Tajikistan was given the inhospitable Khojand landmass surrounding the Fan Mountains. As late as 1989, Tajikistan petitioned Mikhail Gorbachev for the ‘return’ of Samarkand and Bukhara.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="14400" img_size="full" el_class="scond-image" parallax_scroll="no" woodmart_inline="no"][vc_column_text woodmart_inline="no" text_larger="no"]This haphazard division also isolated around 100,000 residents in the Ferghana Valley from their central governments, creating eight large enclaves. Although three of these enclaves had populations fewer than 10,000 and two were used exclusively for pastures, the remaining three - Sokh (Uzbekistan within Kyrgyzstan), Vorukh (Tajikistan within Kyrgyzstan), and Shakhimardan (Uzbekistan within Kyrgyzstan) have repeatedly proven problematic, particularly when countries enforce strict border regulations in response to disputes and disagreements over demarcation arrangements. These enclaves have been hotbeds for conflict: between 1989 and 2009, the Ferghana Valley witnessed approximately 20 armed conflicts, and in 2014 alone, Kyrgyzstan reported 37 border incidents.
The use of personal electronic devices has been banned in schools, the head of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Education and Science, Rahim Saidzoda has said in an interview with Omuzgor. "We have made significant efforts to prevent students from using electronic copies [of materials] while they are in school. We have nearly finished supplying the necessary number of [physical] books to schools. Students were permitted to use electronics in class until recently - this was because of a lack of textbooks. Presently, the circumstances have changed; funds are sufficient, and the books have been published," the minister stated. Another reason for the ban is that parents frequently protested that their childrens' phones were taken away from them at during random searches at some schools, and that some administrators were even demanding payment in exchange for returning the device. Teachers and parents appear split on the issue. The first group feels that gadgets keep kids from studying and they haven’t figured out how to use these devices for learning; the second, on the other hand, feels that new technologies need to be introduced in order to stay up to date. A look at how the issue is handled in Kazakhstan – where children are banned by law from using phones in class - may shed light on the issue. In Kazakhstan, if the school has special boxes, children leave their devices in there, and if not, they are to remain in the children’s backpacks. The Deputy Minister of Education of Kazakhstan, Natalya Jumadildayeva, said she agrees with parents in Tajikistan who believe that use of electronic devices during classes will lower the results of both those using them, and their distracted classmates.
Delegations from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have conducted more work on the definition and designation of the state border, agreeing on the divination of another 11.88 km at a meeting in Buston held between the 17th and 23rd of December. The two parties also agreed to continue determining the remaining sections oat the next meeting to be held in Kyrgyzstan. A long-standing source of conflict between the two nations, it is emblematic of the problem that even the length of the border - sometimes cited as being 975-kilomtres long, and at others times 972-kilomteres - is rarely agreed upon. In January 2023, Tajikistan’s President Rahmon stated that 614-kilometres have been agreed upon, backtracking on a previously stated figure of 664. With its scant natural resources and dwindling water supplies, the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been the scene of numerous skirmishes for many years. In 2014, all borders between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were closed indefinitely to Kyrgyz and Tajik citizens following clashes over a bypass road in disputed territory; mortars were fired and both armies suffered casualties. In 2021 and 2022, troubles flared up again. Several hundred kilometers of the border have not yet been defined. This situation developed after the collapse of the USSR, leaving the parties unable to agree on dozens of disputed areas. The non-delimited territories become a conflict zone between the local population, and the border guards of the two countries became involved. The last major conflict occurred on September 16th 2022, as a result of which hundreds of people were killed and injured on both sides, and massive damage was caused to the infrastructure in Sughd and Batken. The Presidents of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Emomali Rahmon and Sadyr Japarov, have repeatedly discussed delimitation of the border. The situation in the disputed areas is also closely monitored by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). In recent years, the authorities of the two countries have been actively negotiating to resolve this issue. Meetings have been held alternately on the territory of the two republics. Currently, more than 90%, or about 885 km of the border has been mutually recognized by States.
The results of monitoring the quality of mobile communications in the cities and districts of Nurek, Dangara, Vose and Kulyab were presented to the Head of the Communications Service of Tajikistan, Bek Sabur, who arrived on a working visit to the Khatlon region. His visit is connected to the implementation of a decree from the President of Tajikistan "On measures to expand non-cash payments." According to various sources, the level and quality of communications do not meet the requirements. The press service of the Tajik Communications Service reported that Sabur, together with specialists, tested mobile communications in Nurek, Dangar, Vos and Kulyab. "The main purpose of the trip is to determine the accuracy of coverage of base stations in populated areas and identify problems," the press service stated. As a result of the technical inspection, it transpired that not all areas meet the quality requirements for communications. In addition, operator coverage was weak in some places. "The management of the Communications Service ordered providers to install additional stations at the same time as updating the existing ones," the department noted, adding that Sabur held a meeting with the residents of Khatlon to get their opinion on the level and quality of mobile communications. Sabur's visit followed reports received from all over Tajikistan about the low quality of mobile operator services. Tajiks often complain about slow Internet and poor communication. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of infrastructure development. It is also affected by poor energy supply and insufficient development of modern communication technologies in the country. As a result, a significant part of the population has difficulty accessing the Internet. Another problem is the lack of investment in the country's telecommunications industry, although this is slowly being corrected. For example, Tajikistan and China recently signed an agreement that provides for the supply of Chinese equipment to the Republic, which will help improve the quality of the Internet. Tajikistan has also agreed to cooperate with two Russian companies - PITER IX and Digit – in this area. Sabur instructed officials and mobile companies to urgently eliminate the identified shortcomings in order to provide all regions with stable communications and Internet following the Presidential decree.