By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Decisive orders by the head of state and successfully implemented reforms in social sphere improve the welfare of the people and create sustainable social environment for them.
Samir Sharifov, Finance Minister, told local media that the new package of measures to improve the social welfare of the population, approved by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, will not exert much pressure on inflation.
Sharifov said that inflation issues are taken into account when making such decisions, since they lead to an increase in the money supply, and added that social reforms were divided into 2 stages in 2019.
“The first stage was in March, and we do not observe a strong influence on inflation. Currently, according to the State Statistics Committee, inflation is at the level of below 2.5 percent,” the minister noted.
Then Sharifov pointed that the government does not expect direct pressure on inflation after the newly adopted social reform package.
According to the State Statistics Committee, deflation amounted to 0.4 percent in Azerbaijan in May 2019 against inflation at the level of 0.4 percent in April.
The average annual inflation in Azerbaijan at the end of May was 2.4 percent. As of the end of May, the average annual inflation in food products was 2.3 percent, in non-food products - 1.3 percent, and services - 3.4 percent.
The government of Azerbaijan forecasts average annual inflation of 3.8 percent for 2019. In 2018, the average annual inflation was 2.3 percent.
On June 18, President Ilham Aliyev signed a package of orders for increase of public sector wages from September 1, 2019. In particular, the cash allowance of military personnel and law enforcement officers will increase by 50 percent, the salary of teachers who have undergone a diagnostic assessment – by 20 percent, the minimum wage as well as the salary of a number of civil servants – by 40 percent.
It is noteworthy that the document covers about 160,000 teachers and allows them to increase their average monthly salary to 650 manats ($382). To ensure this growth, the state budget will additionally allocate 240 million manats ($141 million), with 73 million manats ($43 million) for September-December 2019.
Moreover, after the increase, the minimum wage in Azerbaijan will take the second place in purchasing power among CIS countries.
In general, measures to improve the social situation of the population, adopted in 2019, will cover over 2 million people. About 3 billion manats will be allocated for their implementation.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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