Minister: Economic ‘safety cushion’ in Azerbaijan creates basis for sustainable development

Minister: Economic ‘safety cushion’ in Azerbaijan creates basis for sustainable development

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 17 / Trend, A.Akhundov /

Incomes of Azerbaijani population in the first quarter increased by 13.9 per cent up to 7.231.6 billion manat, per capita income grew by 12.3 per cent.

Azerbaijani taxes minister Fazil Mammadov made this statement addressing a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on the results of the socio-economic development in the first quarter 2012 and the upcoming challenges, chaired by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

He said in the first quarter, along with the overall GDP growth, production in non-oil sector grew by 7.7 per cent as a result of continuation of Azerbaijani economic growth trend.

"In January-March average salary of wage workers grew by 8.5 per cent up to 368.5 manat, compared to the same period of last year," Mammadov said.

Against the backdrop of maintaining a stable exchange rate of national currency and the growth of the population's total income, keeping inflation at 3.1 per cent contributed to a 4.3 per cent growth in the volume of deposits in banks in the reporting period.

"Achievement of strategic currency reserves, which plays an economic "safety cushion" role, the level of which is capable of completely neutralising the macroeconomic risks, the economic growth at the expense of non-oil sector, keeping inflation at the single-digit level, have created a solid foundation for sustainable development," Mammadov said.

During the reporting period the state budget received 3.487.7 billion manat, or 26 per cent (719.3 million manat) more compared to the same period last year. Of these revenues 1.390.4 billion manat was provided by the Ministry of Taxes, 251.7 million manat - State Customs Committee, 1.839.8 billion manat - State Oil Fund.

Budget expenditures in the first quarter amounted to 2.843.2 billion manat, which is 36.2 per cent (755.8 million manat) more than the same period last year.

Some 41.4 per cent of expenditure, or 1.178 billion manat were socially directed, which increased by 17.8 per cent (178 million manat), compared with the first quarter of 2011.
"Some 1.015 billion manat from the state budget were sent to the investment costs, which is 80 per cent more than the year before," said the Minister.

Mammadov said that under the Ministry of Taxes in the first quarter, revenues from oil and gas sector totaled 598.7 million manat, non-oil sector - 791.7 million manat.

Proceeds from non-oil sector, compared to first quarter 2011 increased by 16.4 per cent (111.5 million manat), including those in the industry grew by 28.1 per cent, construction - 27.5 per cent, services - 19 1 per cent, in retail trade - 11.2 per cent.

As a result of the implementation of state programmes adopted for the development of the regions of the country, tax proceeds by region having increased compared to same period last year by 13.3 per cent, amounted to 110 million manat (eight per cent of total tax revenues and 14 per cent of the fees for non-oil sector).

"Prior to implementing the state program on socio-economic development of regions in the years 2009-13 the figure was 5.5 per cent of tax revenues in the consolidated budget, and prior to the first state program - 3.2 per cent," said the Minister.

The official exchange rate is 0.786 AZN / USD on April 17.

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