By Nigar Abbasova
The Azerbaijani Finance Ministry has presented its forecast indicators of the state budget and a draft concept of the socio-economic development for 2017 and subsequent three years to the Cabinet of Ministers.
Forecast of the budget is based on oil prices standing at $40 per barrel. Moreover, the country has also prepared two additional scenarios for forecasting the state budget given the price at $35 and $45 per barrel, a source told Trend.
The parameters of the state budget for 2016 were based on oil price at $25 per barrel, which was mainly connected with the decline in oil prices, which in turn sharply reduced the projected revenues of the state and consolidated budgets, as well as devaluation of the national currency and transition to a floating exchange rate.
The transfers of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) to the state budget are expected to be lower than the indices fixed in 2016. The source, however has not provided any information about precise figures.
Meanwhile, tax revenues from the regions of Azerbaijan amounted to 622.1 million manats ($379.9 million) in 2015, which is by 16.5 times higher than the rate fixed in 2003. Experts say that the growth is a result of the implementation of state programs on socio-economic development of regions. Moreover, specific weight of tax revenues coming from the non-oil sector of regions has also increased by 3.9 percent up to 12.4, which is also considered to be an obvious indicator of development of entrepreneurship in the country.
Head of the organization on the management of territorial tax authorities Elchin Beylarov, said that one of the most successful results of the implementation of state programs is that certain regions of the country form their expenditures at the expense of taxes, not getting any subsidies from the budget. He stressed that one of the main objectives is increasing the number of such regions in the future.
Some 61.6 percent of registered taxpayers accounts for regions of the country, while revenues to the state budget (from regions) amounted to 381.1 million manats ($232.7 million) in January-August 2016.
The public budget revenues for 2016 are expected to reach 16.822 billion manats ($10.273 billion), while the rate of expenditures will amount to 18.495 billion manats ($11.294 billion).
Finance minister Samir Sharifov earlier said that Azerbaijan could neutralize negative effects of the external factors on its economy, underlining that the country succeeded to fulfill all tasks related to the execution of the state budget.
Moreover, the country has recently introduced certain changes in its tax system, which envisages improvement of tax legislation and facilitation of business doing in the country.
The price of a barrel of Azeri Light crude oil stood at $47.13 on September 15. The official exchange rate of the U.S. dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat was set at 1.6375 manats and 1.8406 manats, respectively, on September 16.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz