2023 will be important year in terms of strengthening social protection of Azerbaijani population – MP
In 2022, Azerbaijan managed to maintain its economic growth amid regional and global uncertainties, Vugar Bayramli, a member of Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis, told News.Az.
The lawmaker noted that despite the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war on regional countries, Azerbaijan recorded about 5% economic growth last year.
“The non-oil growth rate exceeded 9%, which indicates that the non-oil sector was the main driver of economic growth in Azerbaijan last year,” he said.
“As the President of Azerbaijan said, the results of 2022 make it possible to implement new measures in both social and construction fields this year,” Bayramli added.
The MP recalled that in the first week of 2023, the President of Azerbaijan signed an order on strengthening the social protection of the population.
“The order envisages an increase in the minimum monthly wage to 345 manats or by 15% and minimum labour pension by 7%, as well as in other social benefits. Under the order, the Cabinet of Ministers was instructed to prepare relevant proposals by January 15,” he said.
He emphasized that 2023 is going to be an important year in terms of strengthening the social protection of the population.
“So, the state budget for 2023 envisages the allocation of 15.2 billion manats in the social direction, which means 46% of the budget expenditures. This, of course, will allow more funds to be directed within the framework of social programs to strengthen the social welfare of low-income families. In this regard, a new order on increasing social benefits will be signed soon,” he said.
Bayramli also pointed to a growth in the amount of funds allocated within targeted social programs.
He said that the equalization of the minimum wage with the need criterion was implemented for the first time in 2023.
“Raising the need criterion to 246 manats practically led to an increase in the amount of assistance that our citizens will receive within a new targeted social assistance program this year. Currently, 60,000 families benefit from the targeted social assistance provided by the presidential order. On average, each family receives 460 manats, and this amount will increase to 550 manats in 2023,” he said.
Imported inflation grew globally in 2022, said the MP, noting that ‘the highest inflation of recent years was recorded not only in Azerbaijan but in all countries.’
“The official statistics suggest that last year the annual inflation in Azerbaijan was close to 14%, and a 19%-growth was reported in food prices. It should be considered that inflation in Europe and the United States reached a 40-year peak in 2022. The strengthening of inflationary trends in the global economy has led to a growth in imported inflation in Azerbaijan last year, which, in turn, had an impact on the country’s consumer market,” he said.
However, according to the lawmaker, the allocation of subsidies and concessional loans to entrepreneurs in 2023 will lead to a drop in the inflation rate. Bayramli said that the Central Bank of Azerbaijan predicts 6.9% inflation in Azerbaijan this year. “This figure is two points less than previous years, and inflation will slow down considerably in 2023,” he added.
He noted that the state budget for 2023 envisages the allocation of 3 billion manats for the restoration of the Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur economic regions. “All this indicates that strengthening the economy and social protection of Azerbaijan will also make 2023 an important year in terms of growing the country’s geopolitical and geoeconomic position,” the MP concluded.