24 december 2016, 11:00
Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the foundation of first nine-storey building and school in Yasamal residential complex
Dear friends, it is a momentous day in the life of our city. The foundation of a new residential complex is being laid in Baku today. I would like to warmly congratulate the residents of Baku on this occasion.
This is a new social project. The implementation of this project shows once again that social issues have always been a priority for us. On 11 April this year, I signed an executive order to establish the State Agency on Housing Construction. The main task of this agency is to address housing problems of our citizens. In addition, the operation of the State Agency on Housing Construction will give a new impetus to the construction sector, which, in turn, will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs.
This is a new social initiative, a new social project. The construction of social houses will provide great support for the families in need of housing. In general, along with the serious economic reforms, we have always paid great attention to social issues in recent years. Over the past 10 years, pensions have been increased seven times and wages five times. We have built numerous social infrastructure facilities in our country. We have built and renovated more than 3,000 schools and over 600 hospitals. We have built over 90 settlements for the internally displaced persons, and this process is still ongoing. We are increasing the amount of targeted social benefits. If necessary, the number of beneficiaries under this program is increased as well. In other words, social policy is one of the main directions of our policy. Of course, even more successful implementation of this policy requires good economic opportunities. We are creating these opportunities. Serious and effective reforms are carried out even in the times of crisis.
The project being implemented here in Yasamal District is the first such project. Similar projects will be implemented in the future too. There are plans to build 29 residential buildings, a kindergarten and a school here. This residential complex will have more than 1,800 apartments. I look forward to celebrating the opening of this first project in 2018.
As a result of the activities of the State Agency on Housing Construction, those who for a certain reason could not buy an apartment will be able to do so. We live in a market economy. There is a wealthy class, a poor class, low-income people whose problems will be assumed by the state. As I have already noted, we are implementing various social programs, and the provision of housing is a factor playing a key role in the life of every family. Wealthy people can provide themselves with apartments and houses, while those who do not have such opportunities should receive assistance from the state. The launch of this project today is a clear proof of this. Apartments in the residential complex will be provided on concessional terms primarily to the families of martyrs, war veterans, young professionals, teachers, scientists, soldiers, citizens of this category. Payment terms will be concessional. People will move into new apartments on long-term payment conditions.
As a result of this project, the construction sector will be revitalized as well. This year, the construction sector is experiencing a downturn. If we look at the dynamics of the development and decline of our gross domestic product, we can see that the factor dragging down our gross domestic product is the decline in the construction sector. This has two reasons. Public investment has declined, which is natural because our revenues have decreased and we primarily channel our revenues into social issues. It should also be noted that not a single social program has been reduced this year. This is first. Another reason is that businessmen, of course, have started to pay less attention to housing construction. Therefore, as a result of the activities of the State Agency on Housing Construction and thanks to the execution of other projects, we will revive the construction sector. This in itself will lead to greater activity and create thousands of jobs in the construction sector. At the same time, the companies engaged in construction materials and their production will expand their activity. Thus, this project will have a very positive impact on the economy as a whole.
If we consider that as a result of the reforms and diversification policies carried out in recent years we are providing ourselves with basic building materials, we will not be dependent on imported components in the implementation of these projects. I am told that 80-90 per cent of the materials to will be used in the construction of these buildings will be produced in Azerbaijan. First of all, we will reduce the need for imports. On the other hand, local companies producing construction materials will improve their capabilities. I am addressing the private sector as well. In 2017, we will witness major development in the construction sector. The construction of social buildings in Azerbaijan and other ongoing projects will contribute a lot to that.
As I have noted, 29 buildings will be constructed as part of this project. More than 60 new high-rise residential buildings are under construction at the site of old buildings in Baku. This has been made possible as a result of the policy we have defined this year. Conditions are available for entrepreneurs. Local executive authorities are providing support in this matter. The first such project was recently implemented in Ramana settlement. I also participated in the opening of that building to support that process.
Currently, the construction of more than 60 high-rise buildings in Baku has either already begun or is about to begin. People who lived in the old buildings are paid money to rent apartments elsewhere. They rent apartments for a year or 18 months. After that, they are provided with apartments in buildings constructed in this area. People in Ramana have already witnessed that. They are given renovated apartments with an area almost 30, 40, 50 per cent and in some cases even twice as much as before. They move from these obsolete buildings into new bigger homes.
The principle behind all of these 60 projects is that people who lived there before will see how beneficial they are. Local governments and businesses should work together here. Unfortunately, there are quite many obsolete and unusable buildings in Baku. Some were built illegally once. They do not even have any documentation. But people live there now. The living conditions there are hardly suitable for the people themselves and the state.
Therefore, at least 60 buildings will be constructed as part of this project in Baku next year. If we add the "White City Project", where construction of residential buildings is also progressing quite fast, and the project of the State Agency on Housing Construction, we will see that the construction of more than 100 residential buildings is planned in Baku next year. This means the creation of thousands, tens of thousands of jobs, the revitalization of the construction sector and even more beauty of our Baku. All foreign visitors coming to Baku, if they are impartial, are noting that Baku is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I want to make sure that not only the center of Baku but also all of its districts meet the highest standards of taste. Therefore, the implementation of this project is particularly important.
As a result of the creation of the Yasamal residential complex, modern infrastructure will be created here - gas, electricity, water lines, communications, roads, landscaping areas, sports grounds. This means great support for the municipal infrastructure. Look at the extensive opportunities we are discovering as a result of just one project and just one initiative. Therefore, the multiplier effect of this project will be very high.
I want to go back to what I said at the beginning: when we were starting this project, we first thought about our citizens. We wanted the families that can’t afford to buy a home to be able to do so. This motion, this initiative should receive popular support. Currently, preparations are under way for the launch of a second project in the city of Baku. It will be even bigger than this one. Whereas this construction site is 11 hectares, it will be 20 hectares in the second project. The second project will be implemented in Hovsan settlement. There also are plans to build dozens of new residential buildings there.
Today we are implementing this project on behalf of the state, and financial resources for the buildings to be constructed here are envisaged in the state budget. But let me also urge to entrepreneurs today to join this initiative, so that this process could become extensive. The state will perform its task anyway. The construction of social buildings should be carried out both in Baku and all our major cities in the future. However, in order to make this process more extensive, the private sector should also get involved. We take all the necessary measures for the development of the private sector. We provide concessional loans. I regularly meet with entrepreneurs. Today's initiative, today's groundbreaking ceremony serves as a signal to entrepreneurs, so that they could do more for themselves and for the state. As I have said, as a result of this project we will address several important tasks.
Let me warmly greet all of you, the residents of Baku today. I congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on the upcoming Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis and wish you all a Happy New Year. Thank you.
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