BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 18
Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers held the first meeting in connection with the execution of instructions given to the government by President Ilham Aliyev during the meeting on Jan.13, Trend reports referring to the Cabinet’s press service.
The meeting was devoted to the issue of legalizing informal employment.
Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov said that during the meeting on Jan. 13 on the results of 2019, President Ilham Aliyev gave the government over 25 instructions.
To systematize and implement them, the Cabinet of Ministers has drawn up an action plan, in connection with which the corresponding order has been signed.
Ali Asadov said that during the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev emphasized the importance of curbing informal employment and increasing transparency.
The prime minister noted that an increase in contributions to the State Social Protection Fund by more than 37 percent is a real indicator of the reforms held. As a result of the work done, the tax base is also expanding, Asadov added.
“However, the political will of the Azerbaijani president requires strengthening this work,” the prime minister said.
Deputy prime minister, Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Commission for Regulation and Coordination of Labor Relations Ali Ahmadov informed those present about the work done in connection with the solution of issues stipulated by the action plan, as well as about upcoming tasks.
Ahmadov said that over the past 15 years, more than 2 million new jobs have been opened, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 5 percent.
“The action plan consists of 5 sections and 36 articles,” the deputy prime minister noted. “To date, 18 articles have been fully implemented, seven have been partially implemented, and regular work will be carried out on 11 articles. In general, the implemented work can be evaluated positively. From the second half of 2017 until the end of 2019, the number of signed labor contracts increased to 300,000. The annual growth dynamics is also positive. Last year alone, this figure was 153,000. These 300,000 labor contracts cover 21.2 percent of the total number of active population.”
Sahil Babayev, the Azerbaijani minister of labor and social protection of the population, reported about the work in the field of labor and the protection of social rights. The minister said that 99,000 of 153,000 labor contracts finalized in 2019 account for the private sector.
Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Mikail Jabbarov noted that in order to eliminate informal employment in 2019, tax control measures were taken.
“Last year, 7,294 facts of violations were established, and in accordance with the legislation, written warnings were issued in response to the first violation,” said Jabbarov. “However, financial sanctions of 268,000 manat ($157,647) were imposed on persons who repeatedly committed violations, and criminal cases were initiated on 27 facts. During the year, revenues from the tax authorities, as well as from social insurance contributions, increased by 26 percent and amounted to 2.9 billion manat ($1.7 billion). The forecast was over executed by 105.8 percent.”
In turn, Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Statistical Committee Tahir Budagov said that tremendous success was achieved in the activities of the committee over the past two years and a strong institutional base was created.
Real results are also evident in the dynamics of the work done, Budagov noted.
The State Statistical Committee conducted analyzes to assess the level of informal employment based on a methodology developed in coordination with the ministries of economy and labor and social protection of the population, the chairman added. International experts are also involved in the work, Budagov said.
Chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan Ulvi Mehdiyev said that the construction sector is one of the areas where informal employment is still high.
“As many as 171 monitoring inspections were carried out in this area in 2017-2019, 170,600 labor contracts were signed, 90,451 contracts of which, or 45 percent, were finalized by employers namely as a result of the monitoring,” noted Mehdiyev.
Anar Guliyev, chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture, noted that as part of the work to eliminate informal labor relations in the construction sector, permits issued by the State Committee and information on legal entities and individuals who received such permits are sent to the Labor Relations Monitoring Center of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan.
In turn, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Trade Unions Confederation Sattar Mohbaliyev noted that the International Labor Organization highly appreciates the work carried out in Azerbaijan in the direction of protecting labor rights.
The discussions were also attended by Azerbaijani Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade, Head of the Baku Transport Agency Vusal Karimli, Deputy Minister of Interior Ismat Aliyev, Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations Orujali Hajiyev, Chairman of the Azerbaijani National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Mammad Musayev.
In conclusion, the relevant structures were instructed to keep the discussed issue under control, to prepare reports periodically, and in accordance with the president’s instructions, the importance of close coordination was noted.