IS BIGGER BETTER FOR AZERBAIJAN’S BUDGET?
It’s a question that other countries in the South Caucasus would love to ask: How best to use a 42-percent increase in state revenues? Surging oil prices have kicked off a debate in cash-rich Azerbaijan about spending practices and inflation that analysts say highlights dangerous pitfalls in the country’s budget planning. On May 2, parliament revised Azerbaijan’s state budget to accommodate rising oil and gas revenues. At roughly $4.6 billion (3.8 billion manats), oil and gas revenues from Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) are up six and a half times compared with 2007. The income accounts for 87.3 percent of the fresh budgetary funds. Full Story