BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26
The forthcoming tasks and issues on the implementation of the instructions of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, given during the meeting on the results of 2020 chaired by the president, were discussed at a meeting of the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers chaired by Prime Minister Ali Asadov, Trend reports on Jan. 26.
Asadov, stressing the victory of Azerbaijan in the 44-day Patriotic War (from late Sept. through early Nov.2020) as the main event of 2020, spoke about the issues on the agenda: the results of last year, macroeconomic indicators, the course of reforms, the situation in the non-oil sector, as well as the problems caused by the pandemic and their elimination.
At the meeting, reports were made by Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov, Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Sahil Babayev, and Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev.
In his final speech, the prime minister noted that though the president’s instructions, a Strategic Action Plan for the liberated (during the 44-day war) territories are being prepared, and the restoration of all the territories and cities will be carried out on the basis of a single concept.
In accordance with the instructions, the prime minister outlined the following priorities for 2021:
- natural and climatic conditions and the profile of each economic region must be taken into account when restoring the liberated territories;
- development of tourist routes in the Karabakh region should be started;
- construction of the envisaged international airports and new railway lines will give a significant impetus to the development of the region, as well as solve the issues of employment;
- livestock raising, horticulture, vegetable growing, viticulture, and grain growing should be developed in the liberated territories;
- new mechanisms and criteria for land reform in the liberated territories must be developed;
- special attention should be paid to the issues of efficient use of water resources of the liberated lands, along with the solution of problems related to water resources at the national level, and the most modern irrigation system must be created in the liberated territories;
- possibilities of turning the liberated territories into a green energy zone, as well as the construction of hydroelectric power plants using water sources in those territories, should be considered;
- restoration of the liberated territories should be a priority in the activities of state bodies in various areas of state policy, and current and future work should be coordinated with the plans of the Great Return program;
- former IDPs must be returned to their ancestral homes. This process must be carried out according to a special program; anti-corruption measures taken by the determination and political will of President Ilham Aliyev must be consistent and encompass all state bodies;
- each of the proposals submitted to the Government by the central executive authorities must envision mechanisms and elements of combating corruption, and cases of abuse must be strictly prohibited;
- economic growth must be restored this year;
- inflationary tendencies must be prevented;
- foreign exchange reserves must be efficiently managed;
- quality of financial management must be raised, financial discipline strengthened and the system of control mechanisms improved for effective use of state funds;
- ensuring fiscal sustainability requires constant optimization of budget expenditures, application of saving measures, and prevention of excessive and inefficient spending;
- transparency and efficiency in public procurement must be ensured. Overpriced purchases must be resolutely prevented. Particular attention should be paid to holding tenders;
- the private sector should be involved in financing investment projects;
- promotion of public-private partnerships must be continued;
- private investment in priority areas should be encouraged;
- effectiveness of public investment projects must be analyzed;
- the anti-monopoly policy must be strengthened, cases of unfair competition, especially, price increases in the consumer market, mustn’t be allowed;
- small and medium-sized business support program must be continued;
- export opportunities must be expanded;
- the program launched last year, but not fully implemented for certain reasons, must be implemented in two stages this year;
- serious work must be done to prepare for the post-pandemic period, mid-and long-term goals need to be reviewed. President Ilham Aliyev has already given relevant instructions to the Cabinet of Ministers in this regard.
Since 2021 was declared by the President of Azerbaijan as the Year of Nizami Ganjavi, a famous poet of the 12th century, the Ministry of Culture was instructed to develop the appropriate action plan.