Azerbaijani parliament begins discussions on state budget for 2023
The bill “On the state budget of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2023” has been submitted for discussion at a plenary session of the country’s parliament in the first reading on Wednesday, News.Az reports.
The bill submitted to the Milli Majlis on October 24 forecasts state budget revenues for next year in the amount of 30.7 billion manat ($18.04 billion), which is a growth of 5.2 percent against 2022, and 16.4 percent compared to 2021.
Following the successful economic policy of Azerbaijan, the state budget income from the non-oil sector is steadily growing. The non-oil revenues for 2023 are projected at 14.4 billion manat ($8.46 billion), up by 5.6 percent against 2022 and 12.2 percent compared to 2021. Meanwhile, the non-oil revenue growth of the state budget helps reduce the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) transfers to the state budget. In 2023, the state budget gains through SOFAZ will amount to 11.3 billion manat ($6.6 billion), thus dropping by 237.5 million manat ($139.6 million) against 2022.
While preparing the state budget for 2023, the price per barrel was taken equal to $50 given the oil price volatility in commodity markets. The bill predicted state budget expenditures for 2023 worth 33.3 billion manat ($19.57 billion), which was one billion manat ($588.2 million) more than in 2022 and 5.9 billion manat ($3.46 billion) more than in 2021. The expenditures for next year constitute the highest figure in the country's history like the revenues.
Restoring liberated lands and ensuring the "Great Return" are among the primary directions in the draft state budget for 2023. In this regard, the country records an annual surge in state budget allocations. In 2023, three billion manat ($1.76 billion) are expected to be provided for the recovery of the liberated territories. This figure is 12.4 percent more than in 2022 and 37.7 percent more than in 2021.
Besides, the country's defense capability and national security make up a major part of the state budget expenditures. The state budget for 2023 envisages 5.3 billion manat ($3.1 billion) for these purposes, rising by 17.1 percent against 2021.
As in previous years, in 2023, the state budget will be socially-oriented. So, it's scheduled to allocate 15.2 billion manat ($8.9 billion) to the social sector, up by 1.3 billion manat ($764.17 million) or 9.3 percent more than in 2022. The need criterion limit will rise by 23 percent year over year and will amount to 246 manat ($144.6). Thus, in 2023, the minimum subsistence level and the criterion of need will be equalized throughout the country.
The state budget for 2023 envisages education spending of 4.4 billion manat ($2.58 billion), which is 536.5 million manat ($315.37 million) or 13.8 percent more compared to 2022, and 1.3 billion manat ($764.17 million) and 42.4 percent more than in 2021.
Next year, the main directions for increasing education spending will be increase of the number of students of higher education institutions under the state order, as well as scholarships, the provision of more student loans in order to expand the coverage of higher education, and meeting of the growing demand for the introduction of information and communication technologies in educational institutions.
To ensure the country's food security, increase budgetary resources, stimulate the agricultural sector, and develop the leading sectors of agriculture, the state budget for 2023 envisages funds in the amount of 1.2 billion manat ($705.39 million). This figure is 20.5 percent more than in 2022 and 32 percent more than in 2021.
Considering the growth dynamics of global food and non-food prices, the draft budget forecasted the allocation of funds of 625.2 million manat ($367.5 million) for food security measures in Azerbaijan, up by 38.6 percent compared to 2022.