By Aynur Jafarova
The revenues of Azerbaijan's state budget for 2015 are forecasted at 19.438 billion manats (32.5 percent of GDP). This comes as estimations put the expenditures at 21.1 billion manats (35.3 percent of GDP).
This was noted at the presentation of projects on Azerbaijan's state and consolidated budget for 2015, released by the country's Finance Ministry.
The Azerbaijani government predicts the budget deficit in the amount of 1.7 billion manats in 2015.
The budget revenues in 2015 will increase by 5.7 percent and expenditures by 5.2 percent compared to 2014.
Also, the documents said next year the share of the oil sector in general budget revenues will decline to 65.3 percent compared to the 66 percent in 2014.
The budget revenues will include 7.112 billion manats from the Taxes Ministry, 1.59 billion manats from the State Customs Committee, 10.388 billion manats from state oil fund SOFAZ, 7 million manats from the lease of state property, 300 million manats from extra-budgetary revenues of budget organizations, as well as 41 million manats from other incomes.
The budget expenditures will include over 1.778 billion manats of military expenditures, the investment making will reach 6.93 billion manats and the expenditures on the industry and construction field will amount to around 6.952 billion manats, and on education and health care around 1.711 billion manats and 777.7 million manats, respectively.
The revenues of the consolidated budget for 2015 are projected at about 20.717 billion manats and expenditures at 25.911 billion manats. The deficit of the consolidate budget will amount to over 5.194 billion manats.
The budget revenues for 2015 are projected based on oil prices at $90 per one barrel, and the rate of the manat against the dollar at 0,784 manats.
Azerbaijan also plans to export products worth $26.8 billion in 2015, some $2.7 billion of which will be goods of non-oil sector.
The country will import products worth $11.1 billion next year, and the share of the non-oil sector will amount to $9.5 billion.
Also, the share of non-oil sector in Azerbaijan's GDP in 2015 is predicted at 65.1 percent, which is 5.5 percent higher than the forecasts for 2014 and 8.5 percent higher than in 2013.
The share of oil sector in GDP for 2015 is predicted at 34.9 percent versus 40.4 percent in 2014.
The real growth of the national economy will be 4.4 percent in 2015, and the volume of GDP in market prices will amount to 59.8 billion manats.
The GDP for the oil sector in 2014 will be reduced by 2.2 percent, while the value added in the non-oil sector will increase by 8.1 percent compared to the last year, and is expected to reach 39.5 billion manats.
The share of private sector in GDP of Azerbaijan in 2015 is predicted to reach 83 percent. The share of industry in GDP will amount to 37.3 percent, the main part of which falls on the oil and gas industry (with a 32.1 percent share of GDP).
The share of non-oil industry in GDP is expected to reach 5.3 percent, which is 0.4 percent higher than the forecast for 2014 and above the actual figure of 2013 by 0.7 percent.
The Azerbaijani government has lowered the forecast of oil prices from $100 in 2014 to $90 per barrel for 2015.
It is expected that the share of the oil sector in general revenues will fall to 65.3 percent in 2015, compared to the forecast for 2014, where the level is expected to be at 66 percent. In 2013, the figure stood at 73.1 percent.
"One of the factors influencing the decline of oil prices on the world market, is that the U.S. has increased the production of hydrocarbons (11.5 million barrels per day), and reduced the volume of oil import since the beginning of the year," the document said. "Since last year, the U.S. stopped the import of natural gas, and now tries to reduce the supply of oil."
The weak development of the economy of the EU countries has led to a decrease in demand for oil in the region. Currently, energy export has increased to East Asia countries (China, India). However, economic growth has fallen below predicted forecasts for the last period in these countries, which is also one of the factors influencing the decline in oil prices.
"At the same time, geopolitical instability in the Middle East and a number of countries involved in the production of oil, as well as the lifting of sanctions against Iran are the reasons that oil prices remain at a high level, but the gradual stabilization of these processes will affect the decline in oil prices," the document said.
Also, some 928 million manats will be allocated from the state budget for next year as part of the implementation of a project on the second stage of development of Azerbaijan's giant Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea.