Aflatun Amashov, the Chairman of the Azerbaijan Press Union, informed Trend that a Draft-State Programme on Development of Press in Azerbaijan Republic has bee prepared and will be submitted to the Presidential Office this month. He said that the decision to prepare this programme was taken during the last Fourth Congress of Azerbaijan Journalists. The initial reading of the project was prepared by the Secretariat of the Press Union. The Draft-State Agreement says that the programme should be put into effect until the system of co-financing of mass media is formed in the country. According to Mr. Amashov, that may cover the period till 2012. The document envisages the support to mass media and indicates different forms of such a support вЂ" financing from the Budget, tax regulation, advertisement, and organizational support.
Mr. Amashov said that presenting grants to mass media in the districts which have a restricted advertisement market is expected to be added to the budget. Orders on issuing law enforcement enactments by the authorities, presenting loans and grants without interest rates, the programme on preparation and distribution of socially-oriented information materials, placing social advertisement, are also refereed to it. When speaking about organizational support, they mean measures taken to uplevel the qualification and skills of the journalists. When they speak on tariff regulation, they express a request to reduce tariffs for services rendered to mass media (costs on electric power, post-office, telephone, and telegraph) down to the minimum. The tax regulation envisages releasing mass media from all kinds of VAT. Those who give advertisement to mass media are envisaged to be released from VAT as well. It is proposed to reduce their expenses on the advertisement down to the prime cost of the goods they produce. These are the privileges envisaged in the programme. We are going to gather all experts, economists, lawyers, and organize debates on the issue within this month. The final reading of the project will be submitted to the presidential Administration of the Country, said Mr. Amashov.