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The Turkmen President Reprimands Governors of Four Provinces

Friday 10 August 2018

ASHGHABAT (TDH) — On August 6, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov held a video conference with high-ranking officials of Ashgabat municipal administration and hakims (“governors”) of the velayats (“provinces”).

“The President issued reprimands to hakims of Akhal, Dashoguz, Lebap and Mary velayats for poor performance of job-related responsibilities and failure to fulfil the tax collection plan”, the state information agency TDH reports.

As regards the head of Balkan velayat, the President charged him with the task of “undertaking urgent measures to remedy shortfalls in collecting taxes for the local budget”. However, the head of the state refrained from issuing a reprimand.

Turkmenistan is in deep economic recession and the state is running out of cash. In 2018, the Turkmen government is further pressured to cut costs by ceasing state programs, ending social benefits, and introducing and increasing fees for state-provided services. These changes will primarily affect the public, which has already started to show its discontent.

The regime will also have to raise revenues to sustain its operations, propaganda machine, security services, and public sector employees. To do this, the government will tax local businesses as well as the regime officials who have fallen out of favour. Although the general public in Turkmenistan is very tolerant, the current crisis has affected their basic ability to provide for their families. Increased unemployment, rising prices, shortages of basic food, and increasing restrictions are driving people to despair.

The current crisis has seen corruption increase as government officials need more money to afford the same level of comfort as before. The persistence of the socioeconomic crisis, political oppression, and a combination of internal and external factors may influence politics in Turkmenistan in 2018.

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