A program of compensating for the damage caused to the entrepreneurs and their employees as a result of coronavirus has been launched in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov said.

“The program has been launched on April 8 according to the Action Plan adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers to reduce the negative impact on business entities due to coronavirus,” the minister said.

“At the first stage, it is planned to pay a certain part of salaries to those employed in the spheres that have suffered losses as a result of coronavirus, to render financial assistance to the private and micro entrepreneurs,” the minister added. “Tax benefits are also envisaged to maintain the economic activity.”

The program, designed to prevent staff reduction in the spheres of the economy affected as a result of coronavirus, will cover 300,000 employees, 42,000 employers, and about 300,000 private or micro-entrepreneurs. For this purpose, the affected spheres, as well as the relevant criteria, have been determined, he added.

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The minister stressed that the Azerbaijani government allocated 215 million manat ($126 million) to preserve the salaries of the hired workers.

“This amount will be divided into two equal parts, which will be paid in April and May. Besides these payments, the amounts worth social insurance contributions will also be calculated and paid. The main task is to ensure the social protection of each employee,” he noted.

“The average monthly salary as of January will be taken as the main criterion for partial payment of the workers’ salaries,” Jabbarov said.

This amount reaches 712 manat ($418), the minister said adding that the salary of each employee, the amount of which is lower than indicated, will be fully paid by the state to the enterprise.

“For an employee receiving a salary higher than the monthly average salary, the upper limit is set at 712 manat,” he said.

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