Azerbaijan likely to re-consider budget forecasts for 2009

Business Materials 24 April 2009 16:57 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 24 / Trend ,  I.Khalilova/

It is necessary to correct the Azerbaijani public budget forecasts for 2009 and it may be discussed at the parliament in May, Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Economy Policy Ziyad Samadzade said on April 24.

"Although Azerbaijani continues to demonstrate improving economic climate under the global crisis conditions, many countries' economic development is going to fall into decay," Samadzade said.

Meanwhile, it is necessary to change budget forecasts, because "we must continue to implement social programs, use opportunities to develop entrepreneurship, as well as hold events as part of the approved state program on socio-economic development of the countries' regions for 2009-2014."

"A main task is maximum to minimize influence of the global crisis on the Azerbaijani people," Samadzade said. "And the above all is to create favorable conditions for national economy, farming, bringing national product to foreign markets and, generally, to protect the country from influence of the crisis.

He said budget expenses as part of different state programs can be postponed, but social events must be held to cut pressure of the crisis situation.

Meanwhile, oil price fixed in the public budget should not be re-considered while changing the budget forecasts, because this has been designated to determine transfers from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan.

In March, Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said that necessity to re-consider budget forecasts will be determined in late first quarter.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2009, the Public budget income comprised 2.522 billion manats, or 92 percent of forecast and expenses - 2.345 billion manats or 97.9 percent of forecasts.

Budget income increased by 537.6 million or over 27.1 percent and expenses - by 972 million manats or over 70.8 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.

Surplus of the public budget was 177 million manat as for April 1 2009.

In this period, the public budget expense for social security and provision of people increased 42.6 percent (245 million manat) and was 820 million manats (35%). Investment expenses increased by 15.2 percent, including by 72.3 percent on non-oil sector. Budget financing of investment projects comprised 1.079 billion manat which is by 1.9 times (521 million manat) more than the same period in 2008.

Forecasts of the public budget were formed on oil price for $70 per barrel, but oil prices dropped on world markets since 2008 and at present it is lower than $50.

According to the budget approved by the President Ilham Aliyev on Dec. 11, revenues were forecast at the level of 12.177 billion manat (27.9 percent of GDP), expenses - 12.355 billion manat (28.3 percent of GDP) and deficit - 178 million manat or 0.4 percent of GDP.

On April 24, the official exchange rate is 0.8035 manat to $1.

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