Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.18 / Trend N. Ismayilova /
The social expenditures of the Azerbaijani state budget reached 3.7 billion manat in 2010, or 32 percent of the total expenditures, which is 120 million manat more than in 2009, Finance Minister
Samir Sharifov said in an interview with the AzTV television channel this week.
"By presidential decree, wages, pensions, scholarships and social payments were increased in 2010. The basic part of pensions and minimum wages were increased by 13 percent," Sharifov said.
He added that individuals affected by floods last year were provided with various kinds of assistance, including new homes. The government allocated 300 million manat to carry out these activities in mid-2010.
"The preparation of a special action plan to prevent similar situations in the future is already underway in view of the further improvement of the water reserve management system, so that constructed dams were managed based on international standards. We should move toward a more progressive system," Sharifov said.
He stressed that the development of Azerbaijan's economy is clearly seen when comparing the budget figures for 2001 and 2010.
"If budget revenues amounted to 875 million manat in 2001, then as a result of late 2010 they reached 11.4 billion manat, which implies a growth of almost 14 times for the reporting period. The state budget expenditures increased from 807 million manat to 11.767 billion manat, increasing by almost 15 times," Sharifov said.
According to the minister, a tenfold increase was recorded in budgetary expenditures in the sphere of science, sevenfold in education, and eightfold in health care and social provision.
"In 2001, Azerbaijan allocated only 25 million manat for investment. In 2010, the figure reached 4 billion manat. The share of investment expenditures in the state budget today exceeds 30 percent, whereas in 2001 the figure was about two percent," Sharifov said.
The official exchange rate is 0.7974 manat to $1 on Jan.18.