Azerbaijani Accounting Chamber: World financial crisis did not negatively impact on social spending priorities of 2009 state budget

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 22 / Trend U.Ismayilova /

Although the social situation toughened in many developed countries around the world, the level of poverty in Azerbaijan decreased by two percent to 11.2 percent in 2009, while the level of subsistence, as well as the eligibility criterion has increased, the Azerbaijani Accounting Chamber's report on the 2009state budget says.

"Despite the decline by 2.5 percent in the budget expenditures in 2009 compared to 2008, the share of budget expenditures on social protection and social welfare increased from 7.9 percent to 10 percent," the report says.

The state budget's expenditures for social protection and welfare amounted to 1,054 billion manat (with growth at 24.6 percent compared to 2008 and at 77.3 percent -to 2007) in 2009. The figure was 846.384 million manat in 2008 and 594.77 million manat - in 2007.

"These figures confirm that despite the impact of the global crisis on the country's state budget, a serious negative impact on the system of social protection and social security were not observed. This was achieved due to the state's targeted social policy," the report says.

Expenditures on social protection and social security ratio to GDP grew from 2.2 percent to 3.1 percent in 2009.

The report says although the state budget expenditures for social activities in 2009 were approved at the level of 1,134 billion manat following the adjustment the figure declined by 1.3 percent, or 35 million manat - up to 1,099 billion manat.

In 2009, expenditures for improving the system of wages, pension provision and funding of other social problems were reduced from 70.063 million to 35.063 million manat.

Constituent part of the social expenditures (90.9 percent or 958.884 million manat) was directed to finance pensions and social benefits that exceed the figure in 2007 - by 8.3 percent and in 2008 - 4.3 percent.

The highest performance for this indicator compared to previous years was -at 97.9 percent. Growth of these costs compared to 2007 amounted to 195.3 percent and to 2008 - 130.8 percent.

The 2009 state budget allocated 98.048 million manat (performance by 100 percent with a growth at 20.6 percent) to finance the state social assistance, 86.82 million (89.1 percent and 29 and 3 percent respectively) to pay benefits for refugees and IDPs, 37.919 million (98.6 percent and 47.2 percent) - to fund other pensions and 15.931 million (99.9 percent and 39.3 percent) to cover preference on communal services.

The budget allocated 2.928 million manat, or 0.3 percent of the total social costs to finance the wage in 2009. This figure was executed by 92.2 percent. The report notes a significant reduction in the costs of this article compared to 2007 and 2008, accounting for 40.6 percent and 26.2 percent of the cost of salaries in those years.

The budget directed 4.19 million manat, or 0.4 percent of total social spending for payment of other expenses, including 51.7 percent for bank charges. On the purchase of non-financial assets was spent 740,500 manat (0.1 percent) with the performance at 96.5 percent.

Expenditures of the Azerbaijani 2009 state budget amounted to 10.503 billion manat.

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