Azerbaijani Politics 14 january — 09:03

Ilham Aliyev to finance minister: 'I ask a question, and you give me a lecture' (Video)

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At yesterday's meeting devoted to the results of 2019, President Ilham Aliyev asked the Minister of Finance, Samir Sharifov about how much funds were provided this year to reduce the level of external debt, Azerbaijan State News Agency informs.

'Mr President, in accordance with your defined strategy for the long-term management of public debt, appropriate measures are being taken. Currently, our direct external debt is 17.2%. At the same time, the debt of state institutions...,' Samir Sharifov began to answer.

However, President Ilham Aliyev interrupted the minister: 'This is understandable. That is 17.2%. How much money is provided for this year? I ask a simple question, and you start to give a lecture.'

In response, Samir Sharifov said that this year, 1.7 billion manats is provided to reduce the level of external debt. And thus, the Ministry of Finance will try to reduce external public debt by about one per cent.

Ilham Aliyev noted that the external public debt of Azerbaijan is already at a very low level, about 17%, and this year it will decrease further.

'But we have financial opportunities to reduce external debt in a short time. As I already noted, last year alone we earned an additional $6.4 billion. This year, oil prices are also at $65. In our budget, the price of oil is set at $55. Despite this, our budget has reached a record level. I am sure that this year we will have a large influx of additional currency. Therefore, debts taken at a relatively high interest rate can be replaced by debts with a low interest rate and, at the same time, we may negotiate with creditors that we will repay the debts ahead of schedule. I believe that the lower the external public debt, the better,' said Ilham Aliyev.

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