Azerbaijan suspends ban on alcohol sale for cash (UPDATE 2)
Details added (first version posted on 17:19)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 12
Azerbaijan temporarily suspended the ban for sale of alcohol beverages for cash money, as well as wholesale of tobacco products, deputy tax minister of Azerbaijan, Sahib Alakbarov told local AzTV channel Jan. 12.
"The decision on lifting the ban for sale of alcohol beverages for cash money was made as a result of multiple appeals of entrepreneurs," he said. "At the same time, there will be no problems with purchasing alcohol using plastic cards. There are enough POS terminals and over six million plastic cards. Over 86,000 POS terminals have been installed in shopping facilities and catering establishments, and we can install additional terminals if needed."
Alakbarov said that first of all, the population itself must be ready for transition to non-cash payments and this type of payment should be promoted.
"As for the issue of purchase of alcoholic beverages using non-cash payment, there were no problems in this process, there were only issues related to documentation," he said. "Therefore, as such a process takes some time, we, Administration of President, Cabinet of Ministers and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received appeals with a request to temporarily suspend this law until the documentation process is finalized."
Alakbarov said that President Ilham Aliyev, having considered the appeals, instructed to suspend these rules [on introduction of non-cash payment during purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country's trading network] until completion of the documentation as part of measures taken to support the development of entrepreneurship.
"Suspension of this decision will enable entrepreneurs, as well as sellers to finalize the preparation of the documents," he said. "They have a large amount of products left, and it is necessary to complete their documentation [according to the new system]. Also, this will allow the population to choose between cash and non-cash purchase of alcoholic beverages."