Baku, April 23, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the inauguration of Mardakan-Gala highway in Khazar district, Baku.
President Ilham Aliyev first met with local residents.
The head of state said:
- I am very glad to see you. I am very pleased that excellent infrastructure projects are being implemented in Mardakan settlement, that roads are being built and other problems of the settlement are being addressed. This is our policy. Our policy is centered on the people of Azerbaijan, and we are trying very hard to ensure that there is development, creative work and improvement everywhere.
Roads are one of the main conditions for development. Buzovna-Mardakan road was commissioned last year. This road did not exist before. Now it is in use, buildings are being constructed along the road, public places and facilities are being created. In other words, where there is a road, there is development. In recent years, modern road infrastructure is being created throughout Azerbaijan, including the suburbs of Baku. We are now celebrating the opening of Mardakan-Gala road. As a matter of fact, this shows that the most modern standards are applied in every sphere, in every region.
As you know, 15,000 kilometers of roads have been built in our country over the past 15 years. We have built roads everywhere, even in mountain villages, in villages where there were no roads before. Today, these roads serve our people, expand their business opportunities and create new opportunities for farmers. And they are built with high quality. According to the Davos World Economic Forum, the quality of roads in Azerbaijan is in 34th in the world. We try to apply the highest standards to all areas and eliminate issues of concern to our people.
Projects related to roads, infrastructure, electricity, gasification, water supply – all this is in the spotlight, and very serious steps have been taken in this direction in recent years. Therefore, I came here today to meet with you, celebrate this wonderful event together and wish you continued success and victories.
Inter- and intra-settlement roads are in the spotlight. The Azerbaijan State Agency of Automobile Roads has been instructed to pay the most serious attention to the road infrastructure in Baku settlements, and it is possible to say that this process has gained momentum today. I am sure that the internal roads in all our settlements will be restored and bring people comfort. I congratulate you again and wish you success.
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President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, thank you. I am trying and will continue to try to serve my people with dignity. All the problems facing our country must be resolved. The work carried out in recent years is evident. Azerbaijan is modernizing, renewing, everywhere, in every region and in every sphere there is a lot of creative work and improvement.
There is economic development today. This year our economy has increased by 3 percent. This growth is higher than in previous years. True, we cannot be completely happy about that because I believe that the potential is much greater, and we need to achieve higher economic growth rates. But at the same time, the ongoing reforms and the fact that they are being further deepened create additional opportunities for us. In recent years, a lot of work has been done – it is visible. However, we are at a new stage of our development today. In the run-up to the latest presidential election, I said that the next period would be one of reforms because reforms are very important for any country. They mean renewal, modernization, elimination of drawbacks and solution of problems. We have a very clear idea and a work program for each area. Therefore, the successes achieved as a result of the deepening of reforms will improve the well-being of our citizens, of course. Notice that in three months of this year, budget revenues have increased significantly. In other words, tax and customs authorities have collected more than 200 million manats in addition to the plan. How? By means of reforms. How? By means of transparency and as a result of our policies. Entrepreneurs are also pleased because they know today that they have to pay taxes to the state, pay them in full and pay nothing else to anyone. I see now that entrepreneurs have great faith in these matters.
We are channeling the additional revenues primarily into the solution of social issues. True, infrastructure projects are also needed. If we did not allocate funds for this, then such roads would be impossible to build. But under the current circumstances, we are channeling more funds into improving the well-being of our people. It is no coincidence that the first decree I signed in April last year after the presidential election was aimed at improving the well-being of martyr families. The organization of payment of 11,000 manats to martyr demonstrates our intentions, and these payments are being made. The decisions made after this, the decrees signed also have one goal: our people should live even better. The minimum wage and the minimum pension have been increased by almost 40 percent. I recently said that although the percentage increase is large, it cannot fully satisfy us because we have to reach a higher level and work even harder for this. Social benefits have doubled on average, the benefits paid to IDPs, martyr families and student scholarships have been increased by 50 percent. Many important decrees and orders have been signed, improving the well-being of our people and the business environment, and work in this direction will be continued. Raising the minimum wage and the minimum pension should be a permanent process.
At present, Azerbaijan is at a new stage of development, and economic growth will now occur at very high rates, if we consider that the policy we are pursuing in the oil and gas sector is bearing fruit and the Southern Gas Corridor will start functioning in the near future. This will bring additional revenues which will also be aimed at improving the well-being of our citizens.
Of course, the reforms should be comprehensive – in economic, social, political and governance areas. There is still a great need for improvement in these areas. We are building our policy on the basis of proposals from the ground.
In January this year, the fourth regional development program was adopted. The main role in the adoption of this program was played by appeals from the ground. We need to know and address the issues of concern to our people. This is our goal, this is our policy. I am confident that all the tasks and problems facing the country will be resolved.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much. I am pleased with the work carried out in each district. I am very pleased that all things are going well in Khazar District, that improvement and creation work is under way, and that economic work continues. There were good results in previous years too, and we are developing our country together. All our people contribute to our common development. As for our state policy, I want to say once again that we are strengthening our country, strengthening our international positions, enhancing our military power and striving to resolve social issues. The decrees I have recently signed are proving effective and important, and at the same time demonstrate our policy. I can say that there are no such decrees in other countries. For example, what is the origin of problem loans? Depreciation. Why did depreciation occur? The oil prices dropped fourfold, our incomes decreased, the rate of the manat fell and people suffered from this. We tried our best to stabilize the situation, to ensure stability and to stabilize the manat. The manat has remained stable for a long time. Our current economic and financial situation gives grounds to say that no problems associated with the stability of the manat are expected. As our economic and financial opportunities increased, we focused our efforts primarily on the solution of problem loans and resolved this issue – and at the highest level! At present, the decree has been published, and I am sure that the articles contained therein are very important for everyone with a loan debt. This applies to more than 600,000 people, and the process of compensation payment has already begun.
The main priority is to resolve people’s concerns. Everywhere – all government officials, heads of executive authorities, chairmen of municipalities, officials working in all government organizations – should serve our people citizens. I have repeatedly said this. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere, there are cases when people are hurt, their rights are violated, and their problems are treated with indifference. You know that I am in constant contact with our people. I hear from them both about problems and about the positive sides. Therefore, every government official should know that his main task is to serve our citizens – this is also my requirement. But to achieve this, very strict public oversight is required. Therefore, it is necessary to talk about issues that worry people, about mistakes and shortcomings. They should be raised in appeals coming from the ground, so that we could resolve these issues. I am sure that it will be the case. All government officials should be aware that they must serve citizens in good faith. This is the main task I put before every head of executive authority.
The well-being of our citizens, their economic and financial situation is improving with every year. If we look at take the previous period, you can see that pensions and salaries have increased almost 10 times. But does it suit us today? No! What should we do? We should work harder, the economy should grow at a higher rate, investments should be made, bureaucratic obstacles should be eliminated, artificial obstacles should not be created for those who want to start a business. Local executive authorities should try to attract investments because without economic growth we will not have financial opportunities. All these issues are interrelated. Our current economic situation and plans for the future allow us the opportunity to say with full confidence that we will develop only along an ascending path and will resolve all the tasks together. Thank you!
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Chairman of the Board of Directors of Azerbaijan Highway State Agency Saleh Mammadov informed President Ilham Aliyev of the works carried out under Buzovna-Mardakan-Gala highway project.
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The head of state cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the road.
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