Milli Majlis is to hold an extraordinary session on January 19. What is the parliament planning to discuss in just 10 days before the spring session? Will they discuss the protests in the region or the state budget amid decline in oil prices?
We have no document about what will be discussed at the session. But as I understand, the parliament may view the issue of loans below AZN 30,000. AZN 300,000 that are ensured. We have agreed to lift a limit on insurance of banking deposits for all deposits to be insured. Probably, changes will be made to the law in this respect. I do not see any that issues.
That is you mean the insurance of all deposits, regardless of their amount?
Yes, by the law the personal deposits in banks in the amount below AZN 30,000 are not insured. However, considering the current situation, we want to lift this limit. The state must guarantee the insurance of deposits even if depositor deposits AZN 100,000 or AZN 200,000. That is, in case of any force majeure circumstances, the fund will pay the money every month. This is also for the benefit of the banks, since it will expand the turnover and create conditions for insurance of deposits.
Can the government take any steps in connection with loans in dollars?
This issue is almost agreed on. We have agreed on this with both the Central Bank and the government. In this connection, we must settle issues of the source of funding. I think there must be no problems in this connection. In addition the agenda also includes the payment of loans below $10,000 by the older rate of AZN 1.05.
Vahid bey, do you imply the Committee you represent by saying ‘we’? Is your Committee negotiating with the government and the Central Bank?
‘Negotiating’ is quite overstated, we have discussed it only once. Then I, alone, had talks with the Central Bank and the government. There are several issues and this is one of them.
I would like to clarify once again. The issue of loans below $10,000 has already been coordinated with the government, hasn’t it?
Yes, there is a common agreement. Mainly, the matter is about paying loans by the old rate – AZN 1.05 per dollar. The agreement has already been reached, let’s see when the decision is made.
Can Milli Majlis review the issue of budget for 2016 at its extraordinary session?
In line with the law, the state budget may be revised in May and October. But changes can be made when necessary. While we laid $50 oil price in the budget, it has fallen to $30. There is a suggestion to lay the price at $20. The Finance Ministry has recently said they have three options. But it is up to Mr.President to decide.
If the oil price is laid at $20 in the budget, will this affect social programs?
The president instructed not to touch social projects. Only some investment projects can be suspended. But we have two vital investment projects that cannot be suspended. These are TANAP and TAP gas pipelines and Baku-Kars railroad. Both projects are important for Azerbaijan from both economic and political points of view. Other projects can be suspended.
Residents of regions, including Guba, which you represent in the parliament, have recently held protests…
There were no such protests there. 500-600 people always gather at the bus station, probably a couple them came out and said something. I will have a reception in Guba at 10.00 tomorrow. There must be no serious problems there.
But video footage shows that the protestors blocked the road, demanding from the head of executive powers to provide them with jobs and reduce prices and so on.
Frankly speaking, some chiefs of executive powers do not fulfill their duties well. They do not communicate with people, do not show interest in their problems. At the recent session Mr.President drew attention to this issue. Of course, not all heads of executive powers work badly. They must understand people, the world is stricken with crisis, while oil prices are declining. It is necessary to communicate with people in a search for solutions.
Can the protests in the regions be raised in Milli Majlis?
There is no need for that. Definite measures have already been taken. The president has annulled VAT, prices have been reduced. The Ministry of Economy is dealing seriously with prices on medicines. We have three matters related to banks. They must find their solution. One of the most important decisions is the provision of transparency in import and export. Two days ago the State Customs Committee reports that a number of operations were empowered to ASAN service. The problems are already being settled to a certain extent, which is why there is no need for serious protests.