Azerbaijani minister: Adopted programs aim to preserve jobs, maintain economic activity (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 19:52)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 8
A program of compensating for the damage caused to the entrepreneurs and their employees as a result of coronavirus has been launched in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov said, Trend reports referring to the ministry.
“The program has been launched on April 8 according to the Action Plan adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers to reduce the negative impact on business entities due to coronavirus,” the minister said.
“At the first stage, it is planned to pay a certain part of salaries to those employed in the spheres that have suffered losses as a result of coronavirus, to render financial assistance to the private and micro entrepreneurs,” the minister added. “Tax benefits are also envisaged to maintain the economic activity.”
The program, designed to prevent staff reduction in the spheres of the economy affected as a result of coronavirus, will cover 300,000 employees, 42,000 employers, and about 300,000 private or micro-entrepreneurs. For this purpose, the affected spheres, as well as the relevant criteria, have been determined, he added.
The minister stressed that the Azerbaijani government allocated 215 million manat ($126 million) to preserve the salaries of the hired workers.
“This amount will be divided into two equal parts, which will be paid in April and May. Besides these payments, the amounts worth social insurance contributions will also be calculated and paid. The main task is to ensure the social protection of each employee,” he noted.
“The average monthly salary as of January will be taken as the main criterion for partial payment of the workers' salaries,” Jabbarov said.
This amount reaches 712 manat ($418), the minister said adding that the salary of each employee, the amount of which is lower than indicated, will be fully paid by the state to the enterprise.
"For an employee receiving a salary higher than the monthly average salary, the upper limit is set at 712 manat,” he said.
A program on providing micro entrepreneurs and private entrepreneurs with funds has been launched on April 8. The Azerbaijani government rendered financial support in the amount of 80 million manat ($47 million) to 300,000 individual entrepreneurs involved in the spheres affected as a result of the pandemic.
This financial assistance covers the taxpayers who paid taxes, mandatory state social insurance contributions and unemployment insurance contributions in 2019.
To ensure financial support as soon as possible, individual entrepreneurs submit an application through the electronic systems available in the internet tax administration (www.e-taxes.gov.az) and the funds allocated from the state budget are transferred to the bank accounts of these individual entrepreneurs.
The minister stressed that the amount of funds to be paid to micro entrepreneurs or private entrepreneurs will not be less than 250 manat ($147).
The maximum amount will reach 5,000 manat ($2,941), Jabbarov said.
“Many private entrepreneurs have employees and these individuals will be able to take advantage of the state program. Moreover, entrepreneurs will be provided with tax incentives to maintain economic activity,” the minister said.
According to him, 1.5 billion manat ($882.3 million) was allocated for the business loan support programs.
“The taken steps are a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to create new plans and develop business during this period,” the minister said. “The state structures will render the necessary support to prevent the staff reduction, reduce business losses and after the resumption of economic activity in the abovementioned spheres.”
Jabbarov added that these support measures, the adopted programs, the credit guarantee mechanism in the field of entrepreneurship alongside legislative initiatives in connection with tax incentives are aimed at maintaining economic activity and include the basis and elements for ensuring economic growth in the country in the future.