Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6
By Abbas Akhundov - Trend: In 2014 Azerbaijan will direct over 600 million manats (nearly $765 million) to increase salaries, pensions and other social benefits, Azerbaijani Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said on November 6.
He made the remarks during the discussion of the draft state budget for 2014 at a broadened meeting of six parliamentary committees, namely the Committee on Science and Education, Committee on Legal Policy and State Building, Committee on Regional Issues, Committee on Culture, Committee on Human Rights, Committee on International and Interparliamentary Relations.
According to the minister, this growth will affect three million people. An additional amount of 200 million manats were envisaged in the 2013 budget in line with the decisions, for increasing wages and social benefits for three million people during a period from September to December.
The number of employees of the organizations financed from the state budget, who were covered by the increase in wages, is 700,000 people, including employees of the education sphere (422,000 people), and healthcare sphere (about 140,000 people).
Revenues of the state budget for the next year are projected at 18,384 billion manats (31.4 per cent of GDP projected for 2014), and expenses are forecasted at 20.063 billion manats (34.3 per cent of GDP).
It is expected that in 2014 revenues will be 775 million manats or four per cent lower than the ones forecasted for this year, and will exceed the actual performance in 2012 by to 1.103 billion manats or 6.4 per cent. Expenditures in 2014 will grow by 1.1 per cent compared with 2013 and by 15.2 per cent in comparison to the actual figure in 2012.
The budget deficit is forecasted at 1.679 billion manats compared to the forecast for 2013 which stood at 691 million manats and the actual figure for 2012 that stood at 135 million manats.
The official exchange rate on Nov. 6 is 0.7843 AZN/USD.