Investments in business go nowhere

The total amount of concessional loans to entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan since 1992 through the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) has been 1,366,546,851 manats.

According to the report of the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan, preferential loans fund have been received by 22,447 entrepreneurs.

An expert of the non-governmental Centre for Economic Research Vahid Maharramov believes that the amount of loans does not reflect the actual results of development of the local economy. In theory, the fund was created to assist small and medium enterprises, however, since 2003, the money began to allocate big businessmen tied to senior officials - up to 10 million each. As a result, reporting broken, there is no accountability for funds spent.

Against this background, there is a growing trend of country's dependence on imports of agricultural products - wheat, basically, and dairy products, - while 10 years ago, 70,000 tons of milk per year was imported and, according to the results in 2013, 700,000 tons was imported - almost 72 liters per capita. Last year, 109,000 head of cattle were imported from Georgia, at customs each animal to 120 kg of live weight was declared at 29 manats per piece - not only did they deceive the public with inflated figures, the state budget due to customs fraud with numbers has missed millions of manat, says the expert.

NFES was established in 1992. Agents of the Fund for loans are 46 bank and non-bank credit organizations. This structure is accompanied by the financial scandals, but no preventive action is taken.

In 2013 the Fund disbursed entrepreneurs loans totaling 275 million manat. In 2014 the volume of concessional lending to entrepreneurs from the fund is 280 million manats. - 17D -

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