DUSHANBE, December 18, Asia-Plus - Tajik MPs have confirmed president’s edicts on appointment of the prime minister and other members of the country’s government.   

A joint session of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament) and the Majlisi Milli (upper chamber) was held in Dushanbe on December 16.  

Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov addressing the session noted that the priorities of work of the new cabinet are to bring the country out of energy and transportation crises and provide further development of the country’s economy.  

Oqilov noted that Tajikistan’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Development Strategy for 2007-2015 will be endorsed in early 2007.  According to the prime minister, the government will strive to reduce the country’s external debt to sustainable levels.  He also noted that they intend to create free economic zones in Sughd and Khatlon  

The prime minister called the construction of Sangtuda and Roghun power plants “the most important task,” that will allow the country to resolve its domestic energy problems and export surplus power to other countries.  

“The country’s industry should be orientated into production of finished goods,” the prime minister said, noting that half-finished products should be processed into manufactured goods in Tajikistan.  To resolve this problem it is necessary to establish a number of hydrometallurgical plants that would process ores extracted from the local deposits. 

He also pointed to the necessity of development of small and medium businesses in the republic as the key factor, contributing to developing the country’s economy and providing food independence. 

Dwelling on the agrarian sector, Oqilov pointed to the necessity of further development of land reforms, rational use of farmland, restriction of interference of local authorities in work of farmers, as well as resolving cotton farm debt.  According to him, it is necessary to rehabilitate all poultry farms operating in the country.  

Oqilov also outlined Tajikistan’s joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and enhancement of the country’s social sector as priorities of the new cabinet’s activity.