Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

Baku/16.04.22/Turan: In recent years, such a trend has been observed in Azerbaijan. The State Committee on Statistics (SSC) on the same issue indicates one figure, and the head of state or prime minister - another number. According to the SSC, for 3 months of this year, inflation exceeded the income of the population by about 1 percent, food inflation amounted to 17 percent. However, on April 12,  at a meeting dedicated to the results of the first quarter of this year, President Ilham Aliyev,said that food inflation was 18 percent, and household incomes increased by 20 percent.

What is causing this contradiction? Did people's incomes really rise by 20 percent? If  the talk is about a 20 percent increase in wages for some employees of budgetary organizations, how many percent of the employed population does this cover?

According to the State Statistics Committee, the consumer price index in January-March this year compared to January-March 2021 increased by 12.2 percent. Over the same period, food, beverages and tobacco products rose in price by 17 percent, non-food products - by 6.2 percent, and paid services to the population - by 10.1 percent.

It was noted that in March of this year, consumers spent 2.175 billion manats on food in the retail network of Azerbaijan. This indicator increased by 20.5 percent compared to the same period in 2021, and by 31.6 percent compared to February. “In the first quarter of 2022, AZN 5.609 billion was spent on food, which is 2.9 percent more than the annual figure. These products accounted for 51 percent of the retail chain's turnover."

At the same time, the structure stressed that the nominal income of the population of Azerbaijan in January-February of this year amounted to 9,282.9 million manats, or an average of 924.5 manats per person. “Compared to the same period last year, nominal incomes of the population increased by 15.7 percent, and per capita incomes by 15.3 percent. There was also an increase in March. In general, over 3 months, compared to last year, the growth amounted to 20 percent.”

The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population told Turan that Ilham Aliyev's socio-economic policy is based on the principle of ensuring the well-being of citizens, which is confirmed by the consistent increase in social payments in the country.

The ministry noted that in 2019, social payments increased by an average of 100 percent, and in some areas even more. “In 2020 and 2021, further increases in social benefits were also made. To prevent the negative impact of the pandemic on employment and well-being, large-scale support programs have been implemented. And since the beginning of 2022, salaries, pensions and other social payments have been increased, covering 3.4 million people, and an additional 2.1 billion manats per year has been allocated for this.”

Economist Natig Jafarli noted that the difference in statistics  is observed not for the first time. “We have witnessed this many times. Even between the speeches of officials and the statistics, there were sometimes big differences. Now such an incident has arisen with food inflation. According to official data, the level of food inflation in the country is 17.2 percent, but the head of state apparently rounded the figure to 18 percent. The prime minister then tried to correct that and gave a speech that was not entirely clear about the pattern of inflation.”

As for income growth, the expert noted that the number of employees in the country is 1 million 700 thousand. “Slightly more than 900 thousand of them belong to the public sector. Here, indexation is carried out by industry in accordance with the law. The average figure is said to be 20 percent. That is, there are civil servants whose salaries have increased by 40 percent, some by 8-9 percent. And on average they say that it is 20 percent more.”

However, according to him, 700,000 people work in the country's private sector, and the law does not oblige them to raise their wages. "It's just the obligation of the private sector not to pay less when the minimum wage is raised. That is, the employer cannot pay wages lower than the minimum wage. But wages above this are determined between the employer and the employee, and there is no such rule that indexation must be carried out, wages must increase by 10-20 percent. Therefore, over the specified period, wages in the private sector did not increase much."

The economist believes that, in general, to say that the income of the country's population has grown by an average of 20 percent is not quite the right approach. "In developed countries, growth is disclosed by industry. For example, so much in the banking sector, so much in the health sector, so much in the education sector. This methodology should be taken as a basis."—0—


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