Privatization in Tajikistan was very peculiar. Unlike Russian vouchers, which to all citizens, even for a small amount, but still provided the right to a share of state-owned property, in Tajikistan privatization checks were issued only for the amount of unpaid wages from 1994 to 1995. At that time, Russian rubles were in circulation in the country, and there was a catastrophic shortage of cash. The so-called “personalized privatization checks” were introduced in 1996, were issued only to those who worked during that period, and were valid only until 1997.
Nobody explained to the people, stunned by an unexpected civil war, why checks are issued for such a small calendar period, and why the salary of another sovereign state should serve as a definition of its share in the property of a huge Soviet complex, created over half a century by several generations. However, it soon became clear to everyone that all that had been done was simply the appearance of creating equal conditions at the start of privatization.
After all, on the eve of issuance of checks, the so-called conversion was made, Tajik rubles were introduced (this is how, without a soft sign, the national currency was called), and unpaid salaries were recalculated, that is, decreased by 1,400 times. Akhtam Mirzoev, who worked in those years at the Takzhiktekstilmash plant, said: “We were not paid any wages at all. I had about 600 thousand Russian rubles in my account, at that time it was good money, and my family could live six months comfortably on them. But after the conversion, they were so miserable that I didn’t even receive this check. ”
In essence, virtually the entire population was deprived of all their savings during the Soviet years, and in a warring country it was impossible to earn even a living. In essence, ordinary citizens practically did not participate in privatization. Against the background of the suddenly impoverished citizens of Tajikistan, who constitute the overwhelming majority, the nouveau riche who appeared from nowhere bought up enterprises for nothing.
Meanwhile, foreign investors were also allowed to participate in the privatization. Unfinished objects, previously successfully operating factories and plants, machine tools and equipment located in warehouses were put up for auctions and tenders. The idea was that a wealthy entrepreneur, buying an object, invests money in it, hires workers and after some time reaches a high level of production.
The State Property Committee has allocated funds for privatization by the government of the country and technical assistance grants from international financial institutions. Privatization had to be carried out at an accelerated pace - a certain number of objects are planned for each year, which must be privatized, and the number should not be less than planned.
Realization of objects was carried out at prices of 2002, and if the object was not sold, prices were reduced to the level of 1998. Or even to the size of the guarantee fee, the value of which is $ 1,000. But these mild conditions were even more “relaxed” for people with real power and money.
According to the socio-political newspaper Asia Plus (No. 33 of August 18, 2005), after the former field commander, general, head of the presidential guard, and then head of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, was arrested last August, Gaffor Mirzoyev, the prosecutor's office proved that all his property was acquired with great violations. Among them were a significant, almost three times, underestimation of the already small, cost of objects, a delay of more than six months, payment for privatized objects, or “early”, prior to the auction, the purchase. Thus, the prestigious two-story restaurant Farogat in the central park of the city was purchased in the name of his brother in 1998 for only $ 60,000, and 25% of the country's largest meat-canning plant, worth more than $ 72,000 - for $ 25,000. And the payment was made not within a month, as stipulated by law, but after 2 years.
An employee of the State Property Committee, on condition of anonymity, said that the Meat Cannery had already been sold again, and at the original cost, despite the fact that the former owner had installed new equipment in the amount of about $ 100,000. He did not dare to name the new owner.
These amounts are too low to estimate the plant with a territory of several hectares, huge workshops with production lines, the ordinary citizen seems fantastic. Tajikistan is still the poorest country in the CIS with the lowest salaries. But however, it is clear to everyone that such purchases are made not on labor savings, and even more so, not on wages. For two years in the Higher Economic Court there has been a lawsuit surrounding the privatization of the previously very profitable Soviet winery, and now AOOT May, in the Gissar District. Its employees, who received one share of their own enterprise, owned a total of 30% stake. An attempt by the plant management to acquire a 50% stake, despite the timely filing of the application and the execution of other formalities, failed. According to Sunatullo Makhkamov, the former General Director of the OJSC Mai, they were simply deceived by the State Committee, announcing the postponement of the day of the bidding. In fact, the controlling stake was sold much earlier and only for $ 15,000.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the State Committee believes that the privatization process is proceeding successfully, reporting about overfulfilment of the number of objects sold. For 9 months of this year, 526 objects were privatized, of which - 108 large and medium-sized enterprises, and 418 small objects. The total amount of profit from privatization is 25 million 359 thousand somoni (about $ 8 million). For comparison, let's say that the external debt of Tajikistan currently amounts to about $ 800 million.
A completely different opinion is formed by businessmen in the country. The newspaper "Businessman" conducted a survey, interested in the opinion of business people about privatization. 93% answered that they are critical. In their opinion, the vast majority of privatized factories and enterprises acquired at bargain prices are then simply eliminated, since the sale of machine tools, stocks of raw materials, buildings and structures repeatedly recoups the costs.
At present, in accordance with the Strategic Plan of Privatization, adopted by the government of the country two years ago, the last stages of privatization are being implemented, in which individual projects should be prepared for subjects of monopolies and especially large enterprises. And by 2007, the last 67 enterprises, such as the largest aluminum plant in Central Asia, the railway, Tajik airlines, Tajikneft, the Barki Tojik energy company, power plants, and much more, should also be sold to private individuals.