Press Review February 7, 2018

The country's progress in international indices, reforms and early presidential elections, as well as the stability of the manat rate are the leading topics of today's press.

The newspaper Azerbaijan writes about the progress of the country in the index 2018 Economic Freedom, taking 67th place among 180 countries, and advancing one step. This is regarded as a success and a positive trend, which is seen in other international rankings.

The newspaper Echo published an article on the braking of reforms in the country. The government has a program of reforms in all crisis sectors, but in reality the reforms are stalled. It is necessary to properly organize the work of ministries and departments and monitor their work. Only in this way will the reforms be implemented quickly.

Previous reform programs have not been implemented even by half. The process of reform is very complex and expensive. Annually, millions of manat are allocated from the budget for these purposes. Expenditures are constantly growing.

It is difficult to calculate how much of the state budget for the past 10 years has been allocated for full-scale reforms. According to official data, the government of Azerbaijan will increase state spending on economic reforms by 20% or 833.7 million manat in 2018.

The website Azadliqinfo.az discusses extraordinary presidential elections, which will be held 8 months before the appointed date. The author tries to understand the reason for this decision. What processes are going on inside the authorities? So far, the authorities have not provided convincing explanations.

The newspaper Novoye Vremya published an article on the state of the national currency. According to the chairman of the Central Bank Elman Rustamov, in 2017 the manat supply grew by 8.7%, which significantly exceeds the growth rates of the non-oil sector.

In the conditions of excessive supply over demand, the rate of the manat since the beginning of the year has strengthened by 4%, which led to a decrease in inflation and the level of dollarization, Rustamov said. However, the author of the article regards these assessments of the chief banker of Azerbaijan as frivolous and unreasonable. -02D-

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