Azerbaijan, Baku / corr. Trend I.Khalilova / The Vice Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Abid Sharifov, said that the Government of Azerbaijan informed the World Bank (WB) to delay the audit of the project "Water Supply of Great Baku".
"Delaying the audit cannot be a reason for delaying the official negotiations regarding the project of improvement of the water supply and sewerage system in small cities of Azerbaijan which have been scheduled to take place in April," Sharifov said. The WB recommended holding an audit of the first water project until the beginning of the negotiations.
According to the Vice Prime Minister, the delays are linked with the issue that the auditor companies which were proposed by the WB cannot be attracted by the Azerbaijani side due to high prices of their services. "They do not agree with the amount offered by Azerbaijan. Therefore, we have selected another company, but it cannot confine itself to the time limit," Sharifov said. According to him, other issues over the project have been settled practically. Therefore, there is no reason to delay the negotiation process.
Negotiations had been scheduled for March, but were later transferred to April. The project includes 20 districts of Azerbaijan and then feasibility study over 10 districts, including Agdam, Bilasuvar, Geranboy, Guba, Khachmaz, Zakatala, have already begun. The WB will allocate $230 mln for the restoration of the water and sewerage systems. $115 mln will be allocated in the first stage for 10 districts. According to the WB Strategy of Partnership with the Government of Azerbaijan (2007-2010), the credit is expected to be approved in 2007 fiscal year. In 2007-2010, $200 mln more will be spent on the development of the national water supply and sewerage system of Azerbaijan.