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Uzbeks Without Official Registration In Tashkent Allowed To Buy Property In Capital

TASHKENT -- Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has signed a decree allowing people who are not registered as living in Tashkent to purchase real estate in the capital as of April 1.

The country's state-run media outlets reported on March 2 that Mirziyoev made the move in tandem with abolishing the Soviet-era system that barred people from rural regions from residing and working in the capital and nearby districts.

The moves are part of Mirziyoev's plan to liberalize internal migration in Central Asia's most-populous country of 32 million.

"It is true that we kept our people restrained for 30 years," Mirziyoev said in announcing the plan in January, adding that the time had come to stop the practice, as it pushed hundreds of thousands of Uzbeks to seek jobs in other countries.

Mirziyoev, a former prime minister, became president after predecessor Islam Karimov's death was announced in September 2016. Karimov ruled Uzbekistan with an iron fist since before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Mirziyoev has taken steps to bolster the country's struggling economy and to implement reforms in Uzbekistan -- where rights abuses had been widespread under Karimov.

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