Uzbekistan tax officials to wear family ID badges

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

Image source, Bukhara State Tax Service
Image caption,
The new cards have been ridiculed by some on social media

Tax officials in Uzbekistan are to be issued with new identity cards which include a photo of family members, it's been reported.

Management at the State Tax Service in the country's south-western Bukhara region have approved the new badges to remind officials that they have families at home waiting for them, should they be tempted to "tarnish the reputation of the service", the news website reports.

As well as steering the wearer away from thoughts of corruption, they're also supposed to remind staff of the partnership between tax payer and tax collector as part of Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev's campaign to improve the tax service and increase tax revenues.

However, it's an idea that's been ridiculed on social media in Uzbekistan. According to the Fergana news website, users have called the idea of ​​new badges "stupid" and of no help against corruption. Others said that they may even break data protection laws.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, pictured his wife Ziraat, has recently stressed the importance of the family

Sundays off

Meanwhile, there's good news for Uzbek civil servants after President Mirziyoyev said that they can now have Sundays off to spend with their families.

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The website said that government workers should go home at 5pm on a Saturday evening and relax on Sundays. That was not the case previously, and state officials often worked until late evenings all days of the week.

It's not all gravy for state workers, however. The report in Gazeta quotes the president as saying that they'd still be expected to fulfil their duties in their allotted working hours.

Reporting by Alistair Coleman

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