By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
The Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers approved an action plan worth $641.2 million on April 4 to provide financial support to business entities and people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the action plan published on the official website of the Cabinet of Ministers, $126.5 million will be allocated from the state budget to pay part of the salaries of 300,000 employees working in the pandemic-affected areas.
In addition, $47 million will be directed to the support of about 300,000 business entities.
The total amount of tax incentives and tax holidays for entrepreneurs affected by coronavirus is $67.6 million.
According to the plan, $165 million will be earmarked from the state budget to provide the necessary financial support to the passenger transport sector in 2020, $52 million - additionally to the preferential mortgage system (during April), $29.4 million - to the Entrepreneurship Development Fund under the Ministry of Economy (during April-May), $11.7 million - to subsidize interest payments on bank loans of business entities (during April).
Moreover, in April-May this year, the government plans to implement measures to create 50,000 public jobs and a total of $17.6 million will be provided for these purposes. In addition, 200,000 people registered as unemployed in the State Employment Service under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population will receive a lump sum payment of up to the subsistence level – $111.9 and $41.2 million will be allocated for these purposes.
According to the plan, $5.8 million from the state budget will be distributed to provide the population with benefits for utilities (for electricity), $23.5 million to pay tuition fees for socially vulnerable groups of the population.
In total, $588.2 million will be directed from the state budget to finance all the above measures.
In addition, another $41.2 million will be earmarked from the Unemployment Insurance Fund in April-December to expand the self-employment program (covering an additional 11,000 people), $11.7 million from the same fund will be allocated to expand the unemployment insurance system (covering an additional 20,000 people).
Thus, a total of $641.2 million will be provided from the state budget and other sources to finance the measures envisaged in the program.
Note that President Ilham Aliyev signed the Order “On a number of measures to reduce the negative impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and sharp fluctuations as a result of coronavirus in the global energy market and stock market, on the Azerbaijani economy, macroeconomic stability, issues of employment in the country and business entities” dated March 19.
According to the Order, $588.2 million will be allocated to the Cabinet of Ministers from the state budget in 2020 for these purposes.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz