The Azerbaijani government released the content of the state program named “On the great return to the territories freed from occupation”, that aims to place Azerbaijani families in the Karabakh region within the next years.
According to the 12-pages program, 10,270 families are expected to be relocated to Karabakh between 2022 and 2025 and 24,230 families during 2026 alone.
The program consists of 4 main parts: infrastructure, reconstruction of the economy, social development, and
balanced development of the environment.
Infrastructure includes demining areas and then building cities, towns and villages, whereas reconstruction of road, water, gas and electricity lines is planned in the next stage.
Reconstruction of the economy includes the attraction of investments and the formation of an entrepreneurial environment. At the same time, it is planned to ensure the development of small and medium enterprises.
The involvement of new land areas in the agricultural cycle and the development of tourism are planned.
The social development section includes raising people’s living standards, strengthening social protection of vulnerable population groups, providing education, healthcare and social services.
In the area of balanced development of the environment, effective use of natural resources, expansion of the use of renewable energy sources, implementation of the concepts such as “Smart City”, “Smart Village” and “Green Energy Zone” are planned.
We spoke with Chairman of Democracy and Prosperity Movement, economist Gubad Ibadoglu about the plan. He told that the 9-section “Plan of Actions” is a just a collection of words and phrases.
According to him, in this program as well as in others, pompous and empty jargons such as “advanced standards”, “use of ecologically clean and cost-effective renewable energy sources”, “creation of a favorable business environment”, “application of innovative technologies” were used but not justified.
The economist notes that the program states that 34,500 families will be relocated to Karabakh in the next five years.
This does not seem like a real number, because only 66 families (325 people) have been resettled to Karabakh (Agali village of Zangila) this year and another 100 people are planned to be resettled by March next year:
” In that case, the small goal set in the Program seems very unattainable and unrealistic .”
Ibadoglu explains that the requirements of the legislation were also violated in the process of preparing the State Program. For example, a public discussion of the program project was not held.
The economist draws attention to the Azerbaijan Business Development Fund, which is also listed among the funding sources of the program (8. Funding sources of the State Program). However, such a fund does not exist. Although it was supposed to be created in 2021, it didn’t happen.
Baku has been investing in reallocating people to Karabakh region from July 19 this year. 200 houses were built in Agalı village. The energy demand of those houses is obtained only from alternative sources.