Last week, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev approved a plan to implement the State Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Program for 2008-2015. The approved plan envisages implementing measures in five directions. These measures will be taken in the spheres of macroeconomic stability and economic growth, employment and social protection, human capital development and social progress, and institutional policies and an efficient management system for monitoring.
The first direction will improve legislation to increase budget forecast effectiveness, tax collection, to improve tariff and non-tariff regulation of foreign economic activity, in particular, customs-tariff mechanism on imported goods (2011-2012), to exempt physical entities from income tax if their monthly income is less than the subsistence minimum (2011-2015).
It is planned to conduct measures to improve budgetary expenditures, to enhance the efficiency of public procurement, to improve monitoring systems, to introduce e-procurement practice, to support the involvement of local firms in state procurement, conducted in foreign countries in 2011-2015. It is planned to complete the transition process in enterprises and organizations on international accounting standards till 2016.
The measures will be taken to keep the inflation at an acceptable level through the active use of regulatory methods, to improve the system of managing the strategic currency reserves, the system of state regulation of tariffs - liberalization, the definition of free and paid service areas.
It is planned to bring state subsidies in line with economic reasonable costs.
It is planned to continue increasing the capitalization of banks, improving banking supervision, expanding the banking networks in the regions, supporting the creation of housing savings banks, expanding the NBCOs' activity, improving the mechanism of mortgage lending, developing the postal savings system, e-payment system to develop the banking system of Azerbaijan in 2011-2015.
It is planned to develop a single law (2011-2012), the legal framework for securitization (2011-2013), to create favorable conditions for local companies to join the BSE listing, to encourage the formation of institutional investors, to stimulate the production of new financial instruments and to expand the access to foreign securities to develop the securities market.
It is planned to develop proposals to improve the legislation in the insurance sphere in 2011-2013.
It is planned to conduct the measures to encourage the insurance business in 2011-2015.
It is planned to prepare a package of proposals to encourage foreign investments in the oil sector in 2011-2013, to ensure adoption of the "Code on competition", to create an industrial zone (2011-2015), to implement measures to privatize state-owned enterprises in agriculture, chemistry, communications, engineering, construction, housing and communal services (2011-2015), to attract advisers to privatize enterprises in the energy sector (2011-2015).
It is planned to conduct measures to develop the agroindustrial complex, information and communication technologies, industry, energy and tourism till 2016.
In accordance with "Action Plan for 2011-2015 on implementation of State program for poverty reduction and sustainable development for 2008-2015" approved by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, ministries of industry and energy, agriculture, as well as economic development ministry are entrusted to carry out activities to create small and medium-sized industrial enterprises in Azerbaijani regions. Enterprises should be established based on local raw materials and available materials, should focus on the processing of agricultural products and production of construction materials. Work in this sphere will cover 2011-2012.
In accordance with the Action Plan, the Industry and Energy Ministry, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and JSC "Azeristiliktechizat" are entrusted to ensure the restoration and improvement of gas supply and renewable energy supply to population in the country.
JSC "Azeristiliktechizat" is entrusted to restore heat supply to population and social facilities, as well as supplying heat to residential and nonresidential buildings. Work in this sphere will cover 2011-2015.
The Industry and Energy Ministry and SOCAR are entrusted to organize the sale of liquefied gas and kerosene in the mountainous regions, towns and villages in 2011-2015. The above-mentioned structures are also entrusted to carry out reforms in the "Azerigaz" Production Unit (SOCAR) to establish a transparent management structure in accordance with market economies in 2011-2015.
According to the Action Plan, the Energy Ministry during the period is entrusted to create a competitive environment in the energy sector by increasing private sector participation.
The Energy Ministry, Economic Development Ministry and the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) are entrusted to ensure the creation of alternative and renewable energy sources and to strengthen measures in their use in 2011-2015.
According to the Action Plan, the Energy Ministry, "Azerenerji" and "Bakielektrikshebeke" will complete the process of providing consumers with electric meters in this period.
The Energy Ministry and Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry are entrusted to carry out appropriate measures to reduce the environmental impact as a result of the fuel and energy complex's activity in 2011-2015.
Azerbaijan will develop standards in tourism sector to develop this sphere. This is envisaged in "Action Plan for 2011-2015 on implementation of State program for poverty reduction and sustainable development for 2008-2015" approved by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
The action plan indicates that these standards will be developed by the State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents jointly with the Culture and Tourism Ministry by 2015.
In addition, given national, historical, cultural, socio-economic and natural features it is planned to develop alternative types of tourism (ecotourism, rural tourism, etc.) and create the appropriate tourism routes. These measures should be carried out by 2015 by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry.
Azerbaijani Communications and IT Ministry in accordance with "Action Plan for 2011-2015 on implementation of State program for poverty reduction and sustainable development for 2008-2015" approved by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is entrusted to carry out a number of important measures to increase the use of information and communication technologies.
According to the document, the ministry is entrusted to carry out work on electronization of telecommunications network using the latest technologies in terms of improvement and providing the population with qualitative communications services.
It is also planned to expand the use of mobile communications services of CDMA network and new technologies in the republic's telecommunications network (IPTV, ADSL, Wi-Fi, Wimax, 3G, 4G, satellite communications, etc.).
The Communications and IT Ministry and the Tariff Council are entrusted to prepare tariff proposals encouraging the development of services and data transmission.
Also, packet broadcasting of television and radio programs by satellite will be ensured by 2015, work will be completed on providing universal telecommunication and postal services and research work will be continued on the use of innovations in ICT sector.
By 2014, according to the set tasks, the Communications and IT Ministry should solve the issue regarding creating a special innovation zone for the production of high-tech products.
The second direction of the action plan provides for activities in the field of employment and social protection. In particular, it is assumed to improve legislative base in the spheres of employment, labor, labor migration (2011-2012), to create a common information base in this regard (2011-2012), improve governance and potential of the State Migration Service (2011-2013), revise the minimum amount of unemployment benefits (2012).
In particular, Azerbaijan will create a system of unemployment insurance in accordance with the international practice. Insurance system will be implemented during 2011-2015.
Also, in order to ensure social protection of the unemployed and job seekers, paid public works will be organized in the country, and amount of unemployment benefits will be revised.
The third direction involves improving the education system and its quality, developing health and strengthening its material and technical base, reforming the system of financing health care, improving the ecological environment, water supply systems, establishing various national parks, conducting active gender policy, youth policy.
Family doctors will start working in Azerbaijan by 2015. This is envisaged in "Action Plan for 2011-2015 on implementation of State program for poverty reduction and sustainable development for 2008-2015" approved by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
According to the Action Plan, the Health Ministry will accelerate training of family doctors by the fixed time.
In addition, necessary measures will be taken on reformation of health care financing system and introducing compulsory health insurance by 2015.
New curriculums and methods, improved state education standards will be applied in the relevant fields in the higher medical education.
The fourth direction in 2011-2013 implies to establish a centralized electronic information system for the introduction of e-government, conduct reforms in the civil service system (2011-2015), strengthen measures to combat corruption (2011-2015), develop municipalities (2011-2015).
Azerbaijan will create a single corruption system. This was indicated in the Action Plan for 2011-2015 to implement the "State Program on Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2008-2015".
The Commission Against Corruption is charged to establish a comprehensive monitoring corruption system and a single information base in 2011-2015.
The Commission is also charged to prepare statistical reports on corruption crimes and to regularly introduce the public.
Moreover, the document provides an examination of legal acts and their projects existing in this sphere.
The fifth direction involves improving the monitoring system in the sphere of unemployment and employment, ensuring the continued development of the NGO sector, monitoring of access to education, use of clean water, monitoring of the living standards of internally displaced persons.
Upon the order by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, changes were made to the order number 3043 dated Sept. 15, 2008 on the approval of the State Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Program for 2008-2015.
Upun the new order, the organizations authorized by the program also included Trade Unions Confederation and the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan.
In addition, the State Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Program for 2008-2015 was incorporated with several government programs, including program for development of Baku and its suburbs in 2011-2013, Azerbaijani Railway Development Program in 2010-2014, Tourism Development Program for 2010-2014, Program For Creation And Development Of Space Industry in 2009-2013, the Program for Reliable Food Provision of Population for 2008-2015, Insurance Pension System Development Program in 2009-2015, Program for Development of Resorts in 2009-2018, Higher Education Reforms Program for 2009-2013, the Program for National Strategy for Science in 2009-2015, State Theatre Program for 2009-2019, Chess Development Program for 2009-2014, Film Development Program for 2008-2018, E-Azerbaijan Program in 2010-2012, Library and Information Affairs Program for 2008-2013, Justice Development Program for 2009-2013, Securities Market Development Program for 2011-2020.