By Nigar Abbasova
Milli Majlis [the Azerbaijan parliament] held its last plenary meeting of the spring session on May 31. Fulfillment of the state budget was among the issues on the highest agenda.
Addressing the session Ziyad Samedzade, chairman of the parliamentary commission on economic policy, industry and entrepreneurship said that the state budget faces shortage of 200-240 million manats ($134-161 million) annually. He noted that the shortage mainly occurs due to insufficient installation of electric and gas meters in the regions.
Commenting on the issue, Samedzade underlined that the measures taken in the country last year allowed to mitigate negative influences of the external economic impulses. “The country was steadily developing regardless certain difficulties of 2015,” he added.
Finance Minister Samir Sharifov, in his turn, said that the fulfillment of the state budget in 2015 was implemented within difficult economic conditions. Price of oil which is considered to be the principal good for export sharply declined and the fact produced a range of problems for the national economy. He said that the government was unable to execute the forecast on revenues to the state budget due to low oil price. “Nevertheless the government accomplished its main objectives,” he added.
The minister also commented on the issue of the concept of pensions. He underlined that the Cabinet of Ministers has already prepared a clause related to the issue and is expected to submit a proposal to the Presidential Administration in a due course. He said that the main objective of the clause is to shape pensions by means of accumulated pension capital.
Commenting on the necessity of AZAL aircraft fleet updates the minister said that the volume of company’s borrowings allocated under state guarantee exceeds 650 million manats ($436.066 million). The minister mentioned that the funds are considered for the purchase of new aircrafts.
So far, $150 billion have been invested in Azerbaijan’s economy. Revenues of the state budget in 2015 were executed by 90 percent and amounted to 17.498 billion manats ($11.738 billion) as compared to the forecast at 19.438 billion manats ($13.040 billion). 41.6 percent of the state budget revenues accounts for non-oil sector. Execution of state budget expenditures was at the rate of 84.3 percent and amounted to 17.184 billion manats ($11.528 billion) against the forecast at 21.1 billion manats ($14.1 billion). Budget deficit amounted to 286.5 billion manats ($192.204 billion). Revenues from the consolidated budget were at the rate of 88.9 percent.
The parliament approved the clause on fulfillment of the state budget in 2015 with the majority of votes.
Parliamentarians also considered certain changes to the law on military service. In accordance with the change to Article 21 which envisages delay of military service in view of continuing education continuation, all citizens of Azerbaijan receiving education abroad will be granted a delay from military service regardless the institution of higher education.
The changes specify that the delay will be presented to full-time students of bachelor’s degree course, students getting basic higher medical education as well as students of medical residentura (medical internship) studying abroad.
The law in effect provided for the military service delay for the students of certain institutions of higher education the list of which was approved by the respective body of the executive power.
The parliament also approved the clause on the anti-dumping, compensatory and protection measures. In accordance with the clause, margin of dumping will be defined through comparing export price within the country and in the third country should the product is absent in the local turnover of the country and the volume of product sold in the local market is less than 5 percent of its export volume.
In accordance with the clause the influence of dumping and sub-dumping import on the local manufacturing will be defined by means of the analysis of a range of figures, such as import volume, its influence on the local products, the price difference between the imported and local goods, and margin of dumping.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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