Arrests in the Customs Committee, closed land borders and an increase in the salaries of deputies...

Baku/21.06.22/Turan: According to media reports, the State Security Service (SSS) carried out an operation at the State Customs Committee (SCC) and detained a number of officials. One of the detained high-ranking officials is the director of the AzerTerminalComplex Association of the State Customs Committee, Major General of the Customs Service Ehtiram Khalilov. An official statement is expected to be made regarding the details of the operation.

The special quarantine regime in Azerbaijan has been extended until September 1. Although some restrictions have been lifted by the Cabinet of Ministers, land borders have not yet been opened. What is the reason?

According to another media report, the salaries of deputies are being increased. In this regard, amendments are being made to the Law "On the status of a deputy of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan". In addition, the salaries of judges of the Constitutional Court are being raised.

Economist Nazim Baydamirli comments on these and other economic issues on the agenda in the program "Difficult Question".

According to him, the problems in the State Customs Committee do not stop because this structure is considered exclusively from a fiscal point of view. Customs officers work for us in the same way as it was done in the Middle Ages.

“Our customs officers have their own customs philosophy. It consists in the following - if you transport something across the border, then you have to pay for it. Moreover, not according to the law, but exactly as much as required by the customs. Therefore, in Azerbaijan, prices have been talking about price increases for years, while at the same time, the State Committee on Statistics (SSC) and other structures, announcing statistics on inflation, say that one of the reasons for its growth (up to 40%; moreover, the SSC underestimates this percentage ) is import inflation, which they say "prices in the country are rising because they are rising abroad." Entrepreneurs have been complaining for years that the customs itself sets the declared prices. What figure is called by the State Customs Committee, this figure is announced by the customs officers to the entrepreneur. Regardless of the price for which the goods were purchased, what documents are presented. If the entrepreneur does not “protect”, if the goods do not belong to an oligarch official, then regardless of the price of the purchased goods, the customs sets the declared price, which is usually higher than the market price,” the expert explained.



Baydemirli also noted that as a result of these manipulations, the State Customs Committee at the end of each quarter reports on over fulfillment of planned indicators; but it  keeps silent  how  an over fulfillment of  these indictors occur.

“In essence, these are legal fees, although, the income of customs officers is not limited to this, they also have shadow income. All this, as well as the personnel tribalism that prevails in the State Customs Committee, leads to the insolvability of problems in this department, including an artificial increase in prices, which everyone is talking about, including the head of state. With all this, complaints to any instances are useless,” the expert says.

In his opinion, it is impossible to reverse this situation without a cardinal reform of the State Customs Committee.

“As long as the customs is one of the central executive authorities that forms policy, this body will be problematic. Therefore, the arrest of any will not solve anything. I am sure that the arrest of Ehtiram Khalilov is just a consequence of internal “showdowns”. This most likely means that his “roof” fell into disgrace and the political authorities put an end to it,” Baydemirli is convinced.

The economist also noted that he sees no logic in prolonging the closure of the country's land borders.

“Actually, land borders should have opened a year ago. Turkey, Georgia, Iran, Russia have long since opened their land borders. Moreover, the pandemic is over, the vast majority of our citizens have been vaccinated, and herd immunity has emerged. Closing borders not only harms businesses, but also creates humanitarian problems. Millions of our fellow tribesmen live in these neighboring countries and closed borders do not allow them to visit each other, visit the graves of their ancestors, relatives, solve family and other problems,” he said.

Baydamirli’s attitude to raising the salaries of deputies  is positive, but  he noted that in comparison with other countries, the salary of deputies in Azerbaijan is low.

“However, the salaries of citizens, pensions and benefits in Azerbaijan are extremely low. And such a big difference between the salary of a deputy and the average salary of citizens is unacceptable,” the economist stressed, adding that the deputies do not really need a salary increase.

"The absolute majority of deputies have a business, but those who do not have a business receive funding from government agencies," he said.--0--

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Difficult question

Грузия меняет западную ориентацию и идет на сближение с Россией? - беседа с экспертом по Кавказу Вадимом Дубновым в программе "Çətin sual"

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