Azerbaijan, Baku, March 5 / Trend N.Ismayilova /
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomes the conservativeness of the 2010 state budget of Azerbaijan and urges official bodies to improve the quality, efficiency and transparency of state expenditures, said Nienke Oomes, Chief of the IMF team on Azerbaijan. Oomes had visited the country to hold consultations under Article IV of the IMF Agreement.
"The oil price set in the country's 2010 state budget - $45 a barrel - is adequate, and we back this conservative forecast of the Government," Oomes said.
According to Oomes, even if oil prices appear to be higher than that specified in the state budget or if paces of economic growth appear to be lower than they are expected to be, no supplementary funds from the State Oil Fund should be used for the reasons of increase of state expenditures.
"The Government has enough opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of its expenditures and, in the years to come, it must cut the non-oil deficit substantially to provide stability of the budget in line with the state strategy on long-term management of oil revenues," Oomes said.
The IMF states the first step to improve the efficiency of expenditures would be publication of detailed information about budget items at the Government's Website, which will help improving observation and selection of investment and public projects and to better control over implementation of such projects.
In 2010, state budget revenues and state budget expenditures are forecasted to be equivalent to 10.015 billion manat (31.5 percent of GDP) and 11.264 billion manat (35.4 percent of GDP), respectively. The State Oil Fund's transfer is expected to be 4.915 billion manat in the structure of revenues.
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