Баку. Фото из открытых источников

Баку. Фото из открытых источников

On Friday, April 28, another presidential decree on measures to strengthen control over compliance with labor relations in the construction sector of the Azerbaijani economy was issued. According to the document, in order to protect the labor rights of citizens employed in the construction sector, the State Agency for the Provision of Services to Citizens and Social Innovations (ASAN Khidmet) establishes a Labor Relations Monitoring Center.

In addition, it is envisaged to create an electronic register of construction sites under construction in Baku and individuals and entities involved in the construction of these facilities, the integration of the register of the electronic information system for notification of the employment contract of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the population to the ASAN Khidmet system, and surveillance cameras that work in real time to identify people hired to build buildings. The Ministry of Finance was instructed to take measures to create additional staff units in the State Agency for the provision of services to citizens and social innovations.

According to official data, of the more than 1,300 facts of violations of labor standards recorded annually in industry and business, about 60% accounted for the construction sector.

Meanwhile it is difficult to say how effective these measures will be to restore order in the most corrupt sphere of the economy. The question is different. The current steps taken by the state actually mean that the government, in the person of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, has signed its helplessness in the fight against informal employment, gray wages and double bookkeeping. In 2014, the country launched an electronic system for registering labor contracts, which was supposed to put an end to illegal employment in the country. But the cunning employers skillfully bypassed this system of control and evaded taxes, preferring to negotiate with representatives of the State Service of Labor Inspectorate and the Ministry of Taxes. Both sides were satisfied.

Such a practice, probably, would continue if the economic crisis did not break out. The budget formed a huge "hole", which you still have to patch up. Against the backdrop of last year's high-profile scandals related to the International Bank of Azerbaijan and other banks, in which the names of the odious businessman Ibrahim Nehramli and his colleagues in the shop appear, the power offices reflected on the flow of money sweeping past the treasury.

The conducted calculations showed that due to the double bookkeeping only last year employers managed to hide from the budget more than 2 billion manat. But there are other options for appropriating finance, e.g., manipulating the volume and prices of used building materials, so-called dead souls, unforeseen expenses, etc. If we take into account that the construction industry is the second after the oil industry in terms of investment, then of course, the "appetite" of the players of this market can be envied. By the way, in 2016, 11.4 billion out of 15 billion manat allocated to the economy of the country, was sent to the construction sector.

And here is a more recent fact, suggestive of certain thoughts: in comparison with the same period of the last year in the current first quarter, the volume of tax collection on the non-oil sector decreased by 21.2%. There is much to think about.

As the independent expert Azer Mehdiyev notes, there is a gap in the labor market between the established guarantees of labor rights and the actual capabilities of employees to implement them. It is no accident that recently the level of protection of hired labor has decreased significantly. This is especially true for workers who are in labor relations with organizations of private ownership. Often employers, contrary to the requirements of laws, unceremoniously impose their will on workers, thereby depriving them of their labor rights. -0-

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