Baku, March 28, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has chaired a meeting over a fire that occurred in a shopping center in Nizami district, Baku.
The head of state addressed the meeting.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev
- On 26 March, a fire occurred in one of the shopping centers. Fortunately, no-one was killed. However, the people who used to work in this shopping center sustained material damage. Causes of the fire are being investigated. Preliminary information will be provided today. I am sure they will be fully investigated. At the same time, we must resolve the problems of entrepreneurs. They have lost their jobs and property. They have sustained material damage. Some of them purchased goods for borrowed money and put them up for sale. Therefore, of course, the state will support these people.
Yesterday, a meeting with entrepreneurs was held at the Executive Authority of Nizami District. A second meeting took place this morning and people were informed that the state would provide support and assistance. Such incidents happen. Of course, the reasons should be fully investigated and the state should promptly provide material support to entrepreneurs. The Ministry of Economy should meet with each entrepreneur working in the shopping center, listen to their problems and provide support. The Ministry of Finance should promptly allocate initial financial resources to ensure that they are provided to entrepreneurs. In addition, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Taxes and the State Customs Committee need to establish, together with entrepreneurs, the cost of the burnt goods so that we have accurate information on this issue.
Usually, when such incidents occur in developed countries, insurance companies take over the entire financial burden. All goods are insured. Unfortunately, there are gaps in the sphere of insurance in Azerbaijan, and we see this in many cases. For example, thousands of homes were damaged in the recent earthquake in Shamakhi, Ismayilli and Aghsu districts, but none of them as insured. Of course, the state provides and should provide support. The construction of houses has already begun, and a ceremony to provide people with first houses was held at the beginning of this month. In general, entrepreneurs are encouraged to have their property insured. In this case, they can be completely sure that in case of an accident their property will not be lost.
Azerbaijan pursues a strong social policy. It manifests itself in various fields. As you know, a very serious and major social package was approved at the beginning of this year. As a result of the social initiatives, this program reaches out to more than 3 million people. I can say that there is no analogue to such an initiative in the world. During a natural disaster – earthquakes, floods, etc. – the state stands by its citizens. This is our policy, we are committed to it and will pursue it in all directions. Therefore, of course, in connection with the fire that has occurred, we should, first of all, put ourselves in the place of the entrepreneurs who sustained material damage. We should and will assist them.
A commission will be set up to fully investigate the issue and submit proposals. Of course, the commission will work for a certain time. However, at the first stage, we should promptly provide material assistance to entrepreneurs so that they can overcome this situation. In the future, appropriate steps will be taken to provide them with jobs. As for the activities of entrepreneurs of the shopping center, of course, the amount provided by the state should and will be paid to them. But if we consider that we want a speedy resolution of the issue, the state should immediately provide support, as I said.
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Then Minister of Emergency Situations Kamaladdin Heydarov, Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov, Minister of Internal Affairs Ramil Usubov, Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev and head of Nizami District Executive Authority Arif Gasimov delivered reports.
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Summing up the results of the meeting, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- I want to say again that, first of all, it is necessary to fully investigate the causes of the fire. There are preliminary theories. Surveillance cameras also show where the fire started. Based on this, of course, the final conclusion will be provided. At the same time, it is necessary to conduct serious inspections in all shopping centers and increase safety measures. The Ministry of Emergency Situations and other relevant bodies, the Executive Authority of the city of Baku, the executive authorities of other cities and districts should seriously tackle this work. All safety-related matters must be addressed at the highest standard.
As for entrepreneurs, I want to say again that the state will stand by them. They have already been informed about this. We should promptly organize the provision of financial support. A relevant instruction has been issued. In addition, as already noted here, they should be provided with soft loans. It is necessary to precisely calculate the amount of damage caused. We should take measures to place them in other shopping centers operating today, so that they do not stay without work.
Thus, I believe that as a result of the measures already taken and to be taken in the future, entrepreneurs will once again be convinced that the state always supports them. The development of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan has gained momentum, and the further long-term and sustainable development of our country is largely connected with the activities of entrepreneurs. A class of entrepreneurs has now emerged in Azerbaijan. They are very active in various fields – in manufacturing, service and trade sectors. Of course, the state provides them with both political and financial support. As you know, more than 2 billion manats were provided to them on concessional terms. In difficult days, if an accident has occurred, the state will always be near them.
As I have already noted, the commission should soon begin to operate, investigate all these issues and provide a final conclusion. Thank you.
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