Azerbaijan's model of economic development can be example for developing countries

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 9 / Trend I. Khalilova /

The parliamentary committees on legal policy and state construction, defense and security, human rights and international relations approved the draft state budget of Azerbaijan for 2011 and recommended the document for the Azerbaijani Parliament's consideration at the joint meeting on Saturday.

Ziyafyat Askerov, deputy speaker of the parliament, said that budget projections are prepared very carefully. But practice shows that this is the right approach, despite Azerbaijan's economy is developing rapidly over the past 6-7 years.

"Today, all sectors of the economy develop, so the increase in funds is stipulated in the main financial document for all fields," deputy speaker said.

As a result of the dynamic development of the country's economy in 2011, about 30 percent of the total GDP will be allocated through the state budget, whereas in 2005 the figure was 15 percent, Ziyad Samedzade, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, said. The population's income during this period increased four times. It will hit 29.7 billion manat. If the budget receipts hit 180 manat per capita in 2005 and state external debt - 196 manat, then the income per capita will increase up to 1,320 manat next year, while state debt - 250 manat.

The weight of socially oriented expenditures reduced from 56 percent of the total budget expenses (856 million manat) in 2004 up to 33 percent in 2011 (expenditures of the state budget are projected at 12.748 billion manat).

"It deals with the fact that the country pays much attention to defense funding, investments and other areas along with social security and social protection of population," Samadzade said.

The Council of Europe focuses on a positive practice of the dynamic development of Azerbaijani economy. The advisability of using the experience of Azerbaijan, turning into an important player in ensuring energy security of the EU, as an example for developing countries, is being discussed, Samad Seyidov, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, said.

"Azerbaijan fulfills its obligations to external creditors and the international organizations on membership dues in time in terms of the world crisis. It also increases payments, Seyidov said.  The current level of external debt of Azerbaijan (7.1 percent of GDP) corresponds to the international standards.

Many countries can not afford to open diplomatic missions and in some cases even have to close them given the current world economic situation. Whereas, Azerbaijan not only increases the number of its embassies, representations and consulates, amounting to 66, but there are those willing to open a diplomatic representation in our country, he said. For example, the Embassy of Austria has been recently opened. Azerbaijan plans to allocate 100 million manat for diplomatic representation abroad in the future.

During the meeting deputy finance minister Ilgar Fatizadeh presented the budget projections for 2011. The budget revenues for 2011 are projected at 30 percent of GDP, or 12.061 billion manat with growth of 4.8 percent compared to the forecasts for 2010. The transfers from the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) in the state budget will amount to 6.480 billion manat, or 53.7 percent of state budget revenues in the structure of budget revenues.

The expenditures of the state budget are projected to the amount of 31.7 percent of GDP. The expenses will increase by 3.9 percent compared to the forecast for this year and will amount to 12.748 billion manat given the sources to cover the budget deficit.

Roughly 5.390 billion manat will be spent to finance state programs and activities. It hits 42.3 percent of the costs.

The share of social expenses in total budgetary expenditures is projected at 33.3 percent, or 4.234 billion manat. It increased by 8.8 percent compared to 2010. Roughly 3.518 billion manat will be allocated to finance activities in the field of science, education, health, culture, physical culture and youth policy, social protection. It is 7.5 percent more than the forecast of 2010.

The share of these costs increased by 1,1 percent compared to 2010. It will reach 27.7 percent of total state budget. Roughly 1,140,095 million manat will be spent for nation-wide costs in the structure of budget expenditures next year, 1,325,061 million manat - defense, 1,338.163 million manat - education, 545.372 million manat - health care.

It is planned to spend 1,324,085 million manat for social protection and social security in 2011, 691 million manat - transfers to the State Social Protection Fund, 3,380 billion manat - public investment spending.

The remaining costs will be used for other purposes.

The budget deficit for next year is projected at 687 million manat or 1.7 percent of GDP.

On Oct. 9, the official exchange rate is 0.8021 manat to $1.

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