One of the main goals of the support program in Azerbaijan is to protect the employment of the population, said Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov during the briefing.
From the first day of providing financial support, the Ministry of Economy and relevant structures have been working on this and are taking the necessary measures to control the situation.
Mikayil Jabbarova also touched on the damage to Azerbaijan's economy caused by a coronavirus pandemic. "It is difficult to estimate the exact figures but according to rough estimations, the country loses 120-150 million manat per day.
The minister said that there are various directions in the package of tax benefits: “Tax benefits differ depending on the category of taxpayer affected by COVID-19. Although 11,152 entrepreneurs paid less than 250 manat to Azerbaijan’s state budget last year, presently, the amount of financial support to entrepreneurs is 250 manat minimum and 5,000 manat maximum. The share of coronavirus-affected taxpayers of the non-oil sector in tax payments is 46.4 percent”.
The Economy ministers also highlighted that disinfection should be carried out at workplaces: ”Preference should be given to online trading, workers should wear masks in shopping facilities. After the resumption of cafes and restaurants' activities, the distance between the tables in the service halls should be observed".
Jabbarov noted that workers should gradually return to their jobs: "The health of the particularly vulnerable group of the population should be in the spotlight. We must be able to balance these two factors. The special quarantine regime is very costly for the country's economy. This situation is observed not only in Azerbaijan but in the whole world. Therefore, global forecasts for 2020 should be revised”.
The minister stated that quarantine softening means increase in social contacts, and consequently, the possibility of intensifying the infection cases.
“That is why a phased exit from quarantine was worked out. Further activities should also be built on this. If sanitary and epidemiological indicators reach the predicted level and there is any threat, then toughening measures may become a topic of discussion.”
Jabbarov also highlighted that it is recommended to involve a minimum number of people in areas where this is possible.
“It must be taken into account that workplace activities will not be fully restored from April 27,” the minister said.
Jabbarov emphasized that this will also affect the work of entrepreneurs.
“State support is provided both in April and in May. Because during the quarantine period, economic activity will not be restored immediately. These options were taken into account when the President of Azerbaijan made recommendations,” he said.
Jabbarov also said that government support is not the only tool. Entrepreneurs, as citizens, must also contribute to this cause, he added.
The minister noted that one of the support programs is the provision of certain interest rates for entrepreneurs by the state on both existing and new loans.
“These tools are quite diverse. Support programs implemented in Azerbaijan are fully consistent with best practices. We always try to take the pulse of the economy. This work is carried out not only by the Ministry of Economy but also by other relevant structures, ”Jabbarov said.
The minister also talked about tax-related issues that the tax benefits of entrepreneurs will be determined in the coming days.
Jabbarov noted that the corresponding package has already been sent to the parliament for approval.
He went on to add that Azerbaijan took timely measures to combat coronavirus and these measures are already yielding certain results, making it possible to expect to soften off the quarantine regime and hope that there will not be the second wave.
"According to the scientific data available today, it is impossible to say exactly when the pandemic will end. But it’s known for sure that its duration depends on how much the people follow the necessary recommendations. We must get adapted to a new lifestyle," the minister said.
Jabbarov added that President Ilham Aliyev provided significant state support to entrepreneurs, and all steps were taken to maintain the structure of the economy, prevent a decrease in employment, and ensure the competitiveness of the national economy.
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