'A significant part of our servicemen are people who have entered into loans'

Beginning January 1, 2024, a significant increase in the monthly salaries of servicemen across various branches of Azerbaijan's defense apparatus will go into effect. The Ministry of Defense, internal troops, border service, and the State Service for mobilization and conscription will all see a noteworthy 20 percent raise in their monthly incomes. This decision was formalized by President Ilham Aliyev through a decree signed on November 7.

Furthermore, in a parallel decree issued on the same date, the salaries of officers, ensigns, and servicemen of the Special Forces who have served beyond their initial terms will experience a remarkable boost, with their salaries increasing by a substantial 2.1 times.

While these developments are indicative of a significant investment in the welfare and financial stability of military personnel, it is worth noting that the benefits for war veterans, as highlighted in a report by the Accounts Chamber on the state budget for 2024, are not expected to increase. Currently, war veterans receive an allowance of 80 Manats. This decision has drawn attention, particularly in light of other increases in benefits and allowances that were implemented earlier in the year across various sectors of the country but seemingly excluded veterans.

expressed his point of view on these events in an interview with Turan.

Arzu Nagiyev, a Member of the Milli Majlis Committee on defense, security, and the fight against corruption, expressed his point of view on these events in an interview with Turan. He emphasized that the key priorities in the forthcoming year's budget are security, the Karabakh region, and social issues. Therefore, the salary increments for military personnel should be viewed as a positive development. However, he acknowledged that whether these increases are sufficient can be subjective, as individual financial circumstances vary widely. Nagiyev also hinted at the possibility of further raises in the budget for 2024, suggesting that the trend of incrementing military salaries is likely to continue.

Regarding the benefits for veterans, Nagiyev indicated that the existing 80 Manats allowance primarily covers utility bills for veterans. He mentioned that during a committee meeting of the Milli Majlis, there was a proposal to index these 80 Manats to account for potential increases in utility costs.

Military expert and reserve officer Uzeyir Jafarov expressed his opinion in an interview with Radio Azadlig, stating,

Notably, some official bodies have raised concerns about raising military salaries while maintaining the same 80 Manat allowance for veterans. Military expert and reserve officer Uzeyir Jafarov expressed his opinion in an interview with Radio Azadlig, asserting that the recent salary increases for military personnel are still insufficient. He highlighted the financial challenges faced by many servicemen who are burdened by loans, suggesting that a more substantial raise, ranging from 20 to 40 percent, would have been more fitting.

Jafarov also raised questions about the scope of the salary increase. He wondered whether it applies to the total income received by military personnel or solely to their base salary, emphasizing that clarity on this matter is essential. Despite these concerns, he recognized the significance of the salary increase as a sign of government commitment to supporting the armed forces, with room for further improvements.

Jafarov noted that the salary increases will not extend to reserve and retired servicemen due to changes in legislation by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the population. This change effectively reclassifies these individuals as civilians, making them eligible for Labor Pensions instead of military-related benefits. However, he expressed optimism about the potential for an increase in the 80 Manat allowance received by veterans in the upcoming year, emphasizing that a proposal has been made and the final decision will be known in the coming days.

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