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Azerbaijan to spend $232m on social protection of population amid COVID-19

08 April 2020 [13:11] - TODAY.AZ

By Ofeliya Afandiyeva

The Azerbaijani government will allocate $231.8 million for social protection of the population from novel coronavirus, Azerbaijani Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev said on April 7.

Addressing the presser on implementation of presidential order of March 2020 “On measures taken to support employment and social welfare of the population”, the minister said that one billion manat ($588.2 million) has been allocated from the state budget and a plan of necessary measures has been drafted.  

“Ten measures will be taken in four spheres, which will cover 1.9 million people. Some $58 million will be directed from the state budget, $119 million from the State Social Protection Fund and $53 million from the Unemployment Insurance Fund,” Babayev said.

In particular, Babayev noted that of the main component of these measures will be lump sum payments of $111.9 to the unemployed persons in April-May. In this regard, $41.2 million will be distributed, 200,000 people will receive this assistance.

At the same time, over the past 10 days, 30,000 labor contracts were registered in the system of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population.

“This suggest that employers, after learning that the state will support entrepreneurs, decided to conclude employment contracts with their employees and thereby receive assistance from the state,” Babayev highlighted.

“Some 660,000 people have been registered as hired employees. These people were not dismissed and were not sent on vacation deliberately. The entrepreneurs performed their duties in good faith.

“Unfortunately, the number of informally working citizens is unknown. Over the past two years, many appeals have been made for the entrepreneurs to pay taxes and benefits and for their employees to work officially. Many entrepreneurs who have not fulfilled these requirements cannot get the funds today,” he said.

"In connection with the spread of coronavirus and the introduction of special quarantine regime in Azerbaijan, staff reduction is not allowed in Azerbaijan. The minimum number of employees is involved in the structures having vital importance," Babayev mentioned.

Babayev also spoke about measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and urged people to follow the special quarantine regime.

As it was earlier reported, according to the government's plans, funds will be allocated from the state budget to pay part of the salaries of employees in the areas business sectors that have been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In April-May 2020, the government plans to implement measures to create 50,000 public jobs and a total of $17.6 million will be provided for these purposes.

Azerbaijan has registered 717 coronavirus cases and eight coronavirus-related deaths so far. 


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