Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers discusses budget-related issues (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Details added: the first version posted on 11:42

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept.24

Trend:

The Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov held a meeting on the country’s draft state and consolidated budgets for 2021, Trend reports referring to the Cabinet of Ministers.

The meeting’s agenda has also included consideration of indicators of the consolidated budget for the next three years, discussion of the concept, and forecast indicators of economic and social development of Azerbaijan for 2021 and the subsequent 3 years.

Asadov stated that a decrease in global aggregate demand, growth in the volatility of oil prices in world markets, as well as the use of restrictive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as in other countries of the world, affected the economy of Azerbaijan, and as a result, the country experienced a decline in economic activity.

Stressing the importance of profitability and economy, the prime minister said that current expenditures should be carried out by budgetary organizations efficiently, properly, and economically because in many cases, budgetary organizations allow unnecessary expenses, increase the number of staff members, make unnecessary purchases, and prices for the purchases are indicated as higher than actual ones.

He also noted that with budget purchases, as a rule, preference is given to imports and emphasized the necessity of strengthening the control of the relevant authorities over the effective implementation of the current expenses of budgetary organizations.

At the same time, according to him, it should not be given preference to conducting non-priority events, but instead, costs in this direction should be optimized, as well as unnecessary business trips and related costs reduced.

"Capital expenditures are also very important in the next year's state budget. Of course, investment expenditures have a positive effect on economic growth and employment,” said Asadov. “However, it’s important to raise transparency, economic efficiency, and profitability of investment programs. Non-priority investment projects should be cut, and the allocated funds should be spent economically.”

Then the prime minister focused on the instruction of President Ilham Aliyev to increase the efficiency of state-owned companies.

"During a video conference held on August 6, 2020, President Ilham Aliyev said that despite the improvement of management in state-owned companies, financial support from the state, their activities are ineffective, the financial situation of most state-owned companies is heavy, the debt burden is growing, and the control function in this area isn’t as effective,” he reminded.

“In order to solve the above problems, the Azerbaijani Investment Holding was established by the Azerbaijani President decree dated August 7, and important and serious tasks were set before the structure," Asadov said.

It was noted that a significant increase in the budget for 2021 in the direction of further strengthening the country's military potential and army development and ensuring the country's defense and security, the creation of financial guarantees for special defense projects and events will remain a priority in the next budget year. The prime minister noted that under the leadership of Azerbaijan’s president, in the medium term, including in 2021, all the tasks set for the government will be completed on time and in full.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, Deputy Minister of Finance Azer Bayramov, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Sahil Babayev, Prime Minister of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Sabuhi Mammadov, Chairman of the State Customs Committee Safar Mehdiyev, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Rovshan Rzayev took part in the meeting and shared their views on the draft budget.

In conclusion, it was decided to submit "Draft state and consolidated budgets for 2021, as well as indicators of the consolidated budget for the next three years" and "Concepts and forecast indicators of economic and social development of Azerbaijan for 2021 and the subsequent three years" together with other documents stipulated in Article 12 of the Law of Azerbaijan "On Budget System" to the President of Azerbaijan.

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