2021 enters Azerbaijani history as year of social reforms - Analysis

Politics 18 January 2022 11:14 (UTC +04:00)
2021 enters Azerbaijani history as year of social reforms - Analysis

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 18

By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

2021 was a successful year for Azerbaijan both in terms of social reforms and in other spheres.

The average monthly pension, having increased by 10 percent, reaching 331 manat ($194), the average monthly retirement pension - by 9 percent, up to 358 manat ($210) as of 11 months of 2021.

At the same time, the minimum monthly salary increased from 250 manat ($147) to 300 manat ($176).

The salary increase covers a total of 800,000 employees, half of them work in the public sector while others in the private sector.

Azerbaijani MP Soltan Mammadov has commented on this issue.

“Sixty-percent increase in annual spending on social security in 2018-2021, including pensions, allowances, scholarships, targeted social assistance, shows Azerbaijan’s great attention to the social protection of the population,” Azerbaijani MP Soltan Mammadov told Trend.

Mammadov added that the achievement of expenditure worth 6.4 billion manat ($3.8 billion) in this sphere in the state budget confirms that strengthening of the social protection of the population is one of the priority spheres of the state policy in Azerbaijan.

The MP stressed that the further expansion of social protection and active employment programs in recent years, as well as a great increase in pensions and benefits, social protection of disabled people, state assistance to low-income families, the creation of transparent and efficient mechanisms for social services testify to the consistent and systemic reforms in this sphere.

“Some 12,000 families of martyrs and people disabled during the war were provided with apartments and private houses,” Mammadov said. “Around 7,400 people disabled during the war have been provided with cars. People from these categories are expected to be provided with 11,000 apartments or private houses in 2021-2025 upon the President’s order dated January 25, 2021.”

Mammadov added that the decrees and orders signed by the President in December 2021, covering more than two million people, will contribute to the further improvement of the social welfare of the population.

“This can be considered as another stage of the revolutionary reforms being carried out in the social sphere in Azerbaijan,” the MP said.

The MP stressed that the decree on raising the minimum salary from 250 manat ($147) to 300 manat ($176), another increase in the number of benefits and scholarships covering 732,000 people, the lump sum payment to those disabled during the first Karabakh war and other measures show that Azerbaijan is trying to use every opportunity to strengthen the social protection of the population.

The MP expressed confidence that the reforms in the social sphere will be continued.

“One of the most important elements of solidarity and mutual trust between the state and society in the country are sustainable state initiatives to ensure the well-being of every citizen,” Mammadov added.

Azerbaijani MP Sevinj Huseynova also expressed her opinion on this topic.

“The social reforms in the country, being carried out under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, once again testify to the systematic measures to further improve the social well-being of citizens,” MP Sevinj Huseynova told Trend.

“Such attention to the social sphere in the post-war period and during COVID-19 pandemic once again shows that the President mainly focuses on ensuring the well-being of the country's citizens,” the MP said.

Huseynova added that the average monthly nominal salary in Azerbaijan increased by 39 percent, the average monthly pension - by 60 percent, social benefits – by twofold, presidential pensions – by 2.2 times compared to early 2018.

“The ratio of the minimum salary to average monthly salary increased from 26.5 percent in 2018 to 38 percent in 2020,” the MP said. “The decrees and orders signed by the President in December 2021 opened a new stage of social reforms, which envisage the annual allocation of additional 1.5 billion manat ($882 million) from the budget.”

Huseynova stressed that the minimum monthly salary was increased from 250 manat ($147) to 300 manat ($176), which covers 800,000 employees.

“In general, the minimum monthly salary increased by 2.3 times over the past three years,” the MP said. “As a result of the conducted work, the indicators of pension provision and other social indicators in Azerbaijan are at the first levels among the CIS countries.”