Energy ministry suspends business entities’ gas, energy control

By: Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan continues taking decisive measures toward improving the business climate in the country and creating good conditions for entrepreneurs.

Energy Minister Natig Aliyev gave an instruction on suspension of the gas and energy control of business entities from October 30, the ministry reported.

The corresponding instruction was given during a board meeting of the ministry held on October 30.

“The number of inspections held in the state enterprises also should be reduced and carried out in accordance with technical requirements, technical security and through ensuring the protection of public heath,” Aliyev said.

The minister further noted that controls conducted by the Gas and Energy Control Department under the Energy Ministry should be oriented only to the benefit of the state.

“Interference in the operation of entrepreneurs is unacceptable. If arises a situation that requires a control, the process could be started only after the approval of the Economy and Industry Ministry. Those who go beyond the official authority and violate the law will be dismissed from their posts,” he added.

Earlier Azerbaijan’s Taxes Ministry temporarily suspended field tax audits and measures for effective control of businesses with an annual turnover of less than 120,000 manats ($114,395) and payers of the simplified tax.

Audits related to the conclusion of labor contracts, and control over the use of excise stamps on the sale of excisable goods will be exceptions.

On October 19, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on simplification of licensing procedures for entrepreneurship and encouraging business transparency.

The numerous inspections have caused frequent complaints by entrepreneurs and the closure of many small and medium-sized enterprises. However, this long-awaited presidential decree reduces the number of inspections among entrepreneurs. Starting from November 1, these inspections will be carried only by the General Directorate for Combating Corruption under the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan.

Thus, for two years, entrepreneurs will be free of inspections from ministries supervising economy and economy-related fields. This measure is expected to expand the basis for taxation and increase the total amount of taxes.

This decree is viewed by the experts as a goal of the Azerbaijani government to stimulate business development, as well as to make the business environment more attractive in the country and give major momentum to the development of entrepreneurship.