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Finance Minister: No need in loan for Southern Gas Corridor

1 August 2019 16:10 (UTC+04:00)
Finance Minister: No need in loan for Southern Gas Corridor

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is regarded as a world scale project in the oil and gas industry. Currently, Azerbaijani gas is transported via Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) to Georgia and via TANAP to Turkey. Shah Deniz gas field, which feeds the SGC, is the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan.

Samir Sharifov, Azerbaijani Finance Minister stated at the meeting related to the country’s socio-economic sphere that there is no need in the guaranteed loan of $750 million issued by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) for the SGC.

However, he noted that negotiations were held with foreign financial institutions and they were ready to allocate funds if necessary.

Sharifov also said that all obligations regarding the state debt as well as the approved medium-term and long-term state debt management strategies are being fully implemented in Azerbaijan.

MIGA is an international financial institution which offers political risk insurance and credit enhancement guarantees. These guarantees help investors protect foreign direct investments against political and non-commercial risks in developing countries.

Speaking of the state budget, Sharifov stressed that the state budget expenditures for the first half of 2019 were fulfilled by 100.2 percent and made up 10.9 billion manats ($6.41 billion). He added that state budget revenues were executed in the amount of 10.4 billion manats ($61.17 billion).

This is 6 percent, or 590.2 million manats ($347.17 million) more than in the same period last year.

The share of revenues of the non-oil sector amounted to 70.1 percent or 2.245 billion manats ($1.320 billion) in total terms. This is 14.3 percent more than in the first half of the previous year.

Sharifov noted that expenditures on state investments totaling 5.98 billion manats ($3.517 billion) have so far been fulfilled by 37 percent by the first half of 2019.

He explained it by the low speed of the utilization rate of loans which are provided in the amount of approximately 1.14 billion manats ($0.67 billion). Sharifov emphasized that relevant institutions should accelerate the implementation of these loans.

He added that this caused delays in the implementation of infrastructure projects.

"As such, there may be certain obstacles in forecasting revenues and the execution of state budget expenditures. Therefore we are trying to coordinate the execution of state budget expenditures so that most of the expenditures are not timed to the end of the year," Sharifov noted.

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Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1

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