“We should buy the technique harmonic to the NATO standarts” – Natig Jafarli

Azerbaijan state’s budget is directly dependence from oil incomes. According to statistic the 2012’s budget being formed 74% of oil incomes. 51% of this number being formed mainly the means of State Oil Fund. For 2013, the same situation is predictable, but for the present there is not exact figure”.

According to the InFocus24 blog these thoughts was sounded by economist expert Natig Jafarli, executive secretary of Republican Alternative Movement, in press conference which was held on 30 October for GIPA’s (Georgian Institute of Public Affairs) Azerbaijani students. The conference was dedicated about analyses on the project of state’s budget for 2013.

Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Majlis) is going to discuss the project of state budget on November 13. Jafarli said that some details are known, “there are predictions of increasing the expenses of different fields, also raising the salaries and pensions roughly 15-20% in the new budget”.

He assumed that if the price of oil in world market goes to down until 30 USD, the situation in Azerbaijan would be very strained.
Jafarli talk about the Government policy on gas sphere as well. He mentioned that in 2008, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev declared that the strategic goal for energy policy of the state is deeply closed with gas sphere. “Couple of years ago US scientists invented the new method of extracting the new kind of gas – Shale Gas and this is cheaper to produce than usual gas. And I think that the strategic economic policy related with gas sphere is not successful the same with oil policy”, said Jafarli. According to Jafarli, Azerbaijan should give up usual energy policy and have to improve the non-oil fields and this is the most important for national interests.

“In the reality we are the witnesses of Azerbaijan’s syndrome. Sometimes Azerbaijan is compared with Nigeria as his oil policy, but situation is little bit different. In mid of 90s the portion of oil incomes in Nigeria’s state budget was roughly 70%, but now in Azerbaijan this indicator is about 85-86% and it shows the most devastated situation is in Azerbaijan in the world. This is not coincidence that American researches have began to learn the Azerbaijan syndrome”, stressed Jafarli. He also informed that Azerbaijani Government spends roughly 94-96% of annual oil incomes in spite of the late president of Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev ordered about 25% of annual oil incomes should be preserved for future generation’s welfare.

The transparency of Military budget

Jafarli spoke about military expense as well. According to him military budget should be transparent to society. “The main part of military budget should be open to society and people have right to know and get information about providing of military staff”, said Jafarli.

He suggested that Azerbaijan should not buy and import old, obsolete techniques, weapons from countries such Russia, Ukraine. “If we are following the goals with related to building modern Army, we should buy the technique harmonic to the NATO standarts”, said Jafarli.

He also offered that the Ministry of Defense (MD) should separate the equipment and tender departments from MD: “In this way Azerbaijan should learn Turkey’s experience. Sometimes we heard facts of corruption in tender process. If equipment’s and tender’s departmens will be separated from MoD, I believe the level of corruption in this field will go down”.

Unhealthy official’s control

Jafarli said that the project of Azerbaijan’s state budget for 2013 should be deeply discussed by parliament, cabinet of ministries, NGO’s for purpose get different suggestions and approaches.
But expert Jafarli said that he is dissatisfied for the decision making process of state budget. As Jafarli said the state budget project for 2012 was discussed only 43 minutes.

“But in Europe the debates around the budget continue for 4-5 months and wide sections of the population get real chance to take an active part in this process and give the important suggestions and do lobby policy for their own interests”.

N.Jafarli explained that this process is not being established normally in Azerbaijan: “We have unhealthy official’s control and lobby on the state budget”.

Jasur Mammadov