Samir Sharifov Optimistic about Prospects of State Budget Execution

Finance Minister Samir Sharifov spoke before the deputies of Milli Majlis during the discussion of the state budget for next year.

Assessing the prospects for parliamentary committees on defense, security and fight against corruption, economic policy, enterprise and industry, agricultural policy, public unions and religious entities, as well as natural resources, energy and the environment, the official was optimistic, citing the preservation of assets of State Oil Fund (SOFAZ). Since the beginning of the year as of October 1, the Fund's assets increased by 6.7% to $ 35.82 billion. During this time, revenues from the sale of oil and gas contracts totaled 5.88 billion manat.

According to him, the assets were supposed to decrease by $ 3.9 billion, but the fall in the reserves was prevented by the tight monetary policy of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.

“The Fund’s revenues will also grow. We expect 8.37 billion manat in 2017, which is 2.4 times the amount projected for this year. Expenditures will amount, according to our estimates, 6.95 billion (minus 34.6% to the expectations of the current financial cycle). The following year, almost all income (87.8% or 6.1 billion AZN) will be transferred by SOFAZ to the state budget,” he said.

“By November 1 GDP sank by 3.7% to the end of the same period last year, mainly due to the reduction in the construction sector by 27.4% and the non-oil economy by 6.1%. Reduction was observed in the foreign trade. The banks’ loan portfolio "lost weight" to the level of a systemic crisis, including decrease in the loans in all economic segments. As a result, for the first time since 1998, the balance of payments was a deficit (import prevailed over export). That is why the government on behalf of the head of state decided to protect domestic production,” the Minister said. --17D-

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