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Azerbaijan's Budget Deficit To Exceed $1.5 Billion

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's budget deficit for next year is predicted to reach 1.25 billion manats, or $1.56 billion, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Ziyad Samadzadeh, head of the parliament's Economic Policy Committee, also told parliament that although next year's revenues and expenses are expected to decrease, the drop will not impact the development of the country's economy.

Budget revenues in 2010 are estimated to be some 10 billion manats, and expenses more than 11 billion manats.

Next year's revenues are predicted to be 2 billion lower than this year, but expenditures just some 1 billion manats lower.

The world oil price used in making the forecasts for the budget is $45 per barrel.

Samadzadeh says the government could select an easy way out by setting a higher average price per barrel of oil.

The parliament began debate on the 2010 state budget on November 10 and discussion is expected to continue throughout the week.