By Rasana Gasimova
The volume of Azerbaijan’s tax revenues have reached a historic high, amounting to $4.5 billion, Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said at a press conference on the results of socio-economic development in 2019 held on January 16.
Azerbaijan’s tax authorities fulfilled the plan for collecting taxes and duties in the non-oil sector by 109.1 percent in 2019, which is the highest indicator achieved so far.
Jabbarov noted that as a result of the reforms carried out in the tax sphere, the size of the shadow economy was significantly reduced. He said that over the past two years, excessive funds transferred to the state budget decreased by 721 million manats ($424 million).
He noted that in 2019, tax revenues from the non-oil sector amounted to 5.4 million manats ($3.1 billion), and their share in the total tax revenue increased to reach 70.8 percent.
“VAT revenues from the non-oil sector increased by 16.4 percent, excise tax - 4.7 times, income tax - 12.6 percent, land tax - 2.1 times, and tax for real estate - by 44 percent. Revenues in the regions increased by 11.9 percent and amounted to 795.4 million manat ($467.8 million),” Jabbarov added.
He also stressed that the export volume in Azerbaijan's non-oil sector reached $1.9 billion in 2019, noting that a new wave of economic reforms began in the country, which laid the foundation for the wide development of the private non-oil sector and the expansion of the volume of non-oil exports.
Jabbarov said that the growth in the country's non-oil sector was 3.5 percent, while real GDP growth was 2.2 percent.
He noted that in the non-oil sector, the highest growth was recorded in the industry, where it amounted to 13.9 percent. He also informed that the volume of investments in fixed assets in the non-oil sector grew by 3.5 percent, and their share in the total investment portfolio grew by 4.5 percentage points, reaching 69.7 percent.
Jabbarov also touched upon social security issue, noting that Azerbaijan took great steps towards strengthening social protection in 2019. He said that according to the results of work carried out in this direction, the nominal growth in population incomes was 7.4 percent and exceeded the average annual inflation (2.6 percent).
He went on saying that the growth rate of the average monthly wage significantly exceeded the growth rate of household incomes, having amounted to 16.4 percent, which is associated with both an increase in wages and the legalization of relations between employees and employers in the labor market.
Jabbarov said that growth in the labor contracts registration in the public sector was 6.6 percent in 2019. The growth in the registration of labor contracts amounted to 18.3 percent in the private sector, which is three times more than the figure in the public sector.
Jabbarov also spoke about the strategic tasks of the ministry, noting that in the medium term the ministry plans is to ensure economic growth that does not lag behind the average economic growth in the world, and in the long term - to exceed it.
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