Azerbaijani MP speaks out against utility price hikes
At the plenary meeting of the Azerbaijani parliament on Wednesday, MP Yevda Abramov condemned the country’s Tariff Council and some MPs over the idea of raising public utility prices.
“I know there are some budget deficits which have now caused the current price hike. But we could have solved compensated for this deficit some other ways, such as by subsidizing those structures or by increasing the quota (quota varies between 62% and 72%),” he said. “We had a referendum recently and the people expressed unanimous support for President Ilham Aliyev.”
The MP said he is not sure of what the Tariff Council’s decision-making criteria are.
“I’m calling on some MPs: Let’s live in hardship for at least two or three years with our people—just as Mr President does—so that we can get over this difficult time,” he added.
The MP also touched on the sale of dollars on black market. He said this issue needs controlling.
“Dollar is on sale at the exits of subway stations. Dollar is sold for prices with 4-5 manats of difference in a day. Where do they get these dollars?” Abramov said, adding. Some are going to get offended by what I’m saying. But how come our officials own such luxurious villas everywhere, in the garden, in the mountain, so on. The year 2017, too, will be difficult. Our officials must stand by the people.”
The MP expressed his concerns over the situation in a museum created within the Guba Genocide Memorial Complex.
“This museum is visited by foreigners every day. Imagine that the electricity was cut off in the museum,” he said.
In response to the MP’s speech, Speaker Ogtay Asadov said 62 percent quota doesn’t mean that all of them are poor. “Some of them have 4-room houses. I didn’t intend to interfere in your speech, but wanted to inform you,” he said.
MP Tahir Rzayev said there are economic problems in the country and they couldn’t be hidden.
He noted that global economic crisis also affected Azerbaijan.
Rzayev expressed concern about jobs cuts. “Firing librarians, charwomen is wrong. They receive low salaries and supporting families with them. Some employers are firing them, appointing advisors, driving expensive cars. Squandering must be avoided. The private sector should be developed, construction sector should be supported,” he added.
MP Musa Guliyev stressed the need to develop non-oil sector, as well as the spheres of transport and agriculture in the country.
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