President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan is leading state in CIS today in terms of purchasing power of minimum pension
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 21
Azerbaijan is the leading state in the CIS today in terms of the purchasing power of the minimum pension, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in his interview with Azerbaijan Television after viewing the DOST center No3 of the Sustainable and Operative Social Security Agency under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population in Nizami district, Baku, Trend reports.
“The social sphere has always been a priority. I always spoke extensively about this issue in previous years. This is particularly the case recently – last year and this year, the social sphere has been on the agenda as an even higher priority. It is no coincidence that the broadest social package in the years of independence was introduced and successfully implemented last year. The scope of this social package is quite wide – 4.2 million people were covered by the state package. This included the almost doubling of the minimum wage and the increase of the minimum pension by more than 70 percent. Azerbaijan is the leading state in the CIS today in terms of the purchasing power of the minimum pension. Benefits were raised, some by 50 percent and some were doubled. The issue related to problem loans was resolved. In other words, we allocated billions of manats for these purposes and, as I have already said, the well-being of 4.2 million people was significantly improved,” said President Ilham Aliyev.
He noted that since the beginning of the year, these trends further intensified.
“The increase in the minimum and average wages and the average pension is obvious. Given that the manat rate is stable, the real incomes of the population are growing and inflation is low. Therefore, the work carried out in this area this year is a logical continuation of the work done last year. This year’s peculiarity is that we currently live in a pandemic and our response to the pandemic was comprehensive. Very serious operational and socially targeted steps were taken to achieve the goal. It is no secret that the salaries of 900,000 people employed in the public sector were fully paid. The state also paid a significant part of the salaries of almost 700,000 people working in the private sector. Considering that people working in this sector lost their jobs, social security was organized for the unemployed, low-income groups, including those employed informally. Each of them received 190 manats. There are many people in this category – 600,000 people. All this work, of course, requires major financial resources. If we add to this the targeted social assistance program, the number of people covered by this program will grow significantly. Currently, this program covers 80,000 families. Each family receives more than 220 manats per month on average,” said President Ilham Aliyev.
The head of state pointed out that at the same time, there are plans to create public jobs – 90,000 of them.
“The self-employment program covers 12,000 people. We are already implementing a part of this program together with the World Bank. In other words, if we take into account the attention being paid to this area and the funds allocated, we can see that this is our priority today. It should be the case because the whole world is suffering from a pandemic, all countries are faced with great difficulties. In some developed countries, the economic downturn is at 7-10 percent. These are preliminary figures. Azerbaijan is taking all steps necessary to maintain financial stability. Everyone should know that if financial stability is disrupted, we will not be able to implement social programs. At the beginning of the year and during the outbreak of the pandemic, I said that not a single social program would be reduced, and we are doing exactly that. Also, not a single project of social infrastructure has been reduced. The attention being paid to this area and the tangible steps we are taking demonstrate the essence of our policy once again. They also show that our policy is centered on the citizens of Azerbaijan,” said President Ilham Aliyev.