Azerbaijan to Reinforce Measures on Social Protection – Minister

Business Materials 30 April 2008 17:16 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 April / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / The Azerbaijani Government is going to reinforce the measures on social protection due to the increase of consumer goods prices in the country, Samir Sharifov, Minister of Finance of Azerbaijan, stated in the meeting of Parliamentary commission on Economy policy.

For this purpose, additional AZN 400mln has been allocated from the State Budget for the social protection. The funds will be used to raise the minimum labour payment and minimum pensions.

"For a long period of time, the Government did not consider the size of social allowances. Today, allowances size need re-consideration in accordance with the inflation ratio," the Minister stated.

Currently, the great attention is paid on the measures to provide the food security. Azerbaijan, taking into consideration the presence of such problems and influence of increased prices in world markets on domestic consumer market, considers it necessary to allocate the additional funds to subsidy agricultural producers. Since 2007, Azerbaijan has allocated subsidies to the agrarian industry complex, which covered 50% of the expenditure for the purchase of fuel and fertilizers.

Additional measures, according to the Minister, envisage the development of seed.

The Government is developing the additional measures in order to upgrade the infrastructures in regions and AZN 900mln has been allocated fro this purpose. Some AZN 5mln was allocated for the purchase of medical utilities because of the increase in prices for import productions.

Heydar Babayev, Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, considers that the increase of population incomes causes rise in the purchase capacity which leads to the rise in inflation.

As for the first quarter 2008, growth rate of consumer prices totaled 16.5% and 8% compared to early 2008. Such increase was caused by the rise of prices for provisions. The Government is developing special measures to reduce the influence of such increase on poverty. For this purpose, it is expected that the Cabinet of Ministers will release grain and wheat from taxes on GDP.