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Official News

Saturday, 3 March 2018

PM Briefed on Shirak Marz Economic Activity Indicators and 2018 Action Plan

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan traveled to Gyumri to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.

Presenting the macroeconomic indicators recorded in Shirak Marz, Governor Artur Khachatryan noted that AMD22 billion-worth investment programs were implemented in the region last year against 11.4 billion drams in 2016. The volume of investments is expected to reach the mark of 36 billion drams in 2018.

The Governor assured that a large part of these programs will be implemented by private investors. As a result, investment per capita is expected to rise to 152 thousand drams from 92 thousand in the previous year.

Artur Khachatryan reported that the number of jobs was 23 517 last year. It is envisaged to increase this number to 27000 in 2018. According to Artur Khachatryan, many jobs will be made available in light industry, services and information technologies.

It was reported that the revenue collection performance was 97% last year, which means that the communities; own revenues increased by 17 percent as compared with 2016. Per capita income was 8100 drams in 2016. It rose to AMD 9400 in 2017, and will reach 10800 drams this year.

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan highlighted the steps aimed at increasing the amount of own revenues and urged those responsible to compare the statistics with that of other regions and adjust the figures accordingly.

“We are introducing the institution of administrative registers. Specific groups shall be set up Marz administrations to deal with statistics. We suggest that the community leaders provide relevant statistics to their colleagues. Several agencies should work jointly. We need 2-3 years of work to confidently state that we have the most accurate. To this end, we must work closely with the community leaders and exchange information. There are so many indicators that can help you see the inaccuracies. We have repeatedly stated that we are going to support those communities which boast growth in order to motivate them."

At the same time, the Head of Government instructed to reconsider the own revenue targets in Shirak Marz and emphasized: “This is the only way to progress. Our community leaders erroneously believe that the revenue target is an extra burden for the citizens, but how do we pay the subsidy? Who collects more revenue will get more subsidies.”

The Governor reported that the community budgets have already been projected: they will increase by 13% this year, which makes 303 million drams.

With reference to waste management, the local officials advised that 228 dumps were shut down last year, with 257 others expected to close this year. Governor Artur Khachatryan noted that investors are expected to arrive from Sweden with a view to discussing a project for construction of a refuse recycling plant.

1972 contracts were signed with individuals and legal entities for garbage collection during the previous year. At the same time, it was noted that there are 3000 legal entities registered in the Marz, and the Prime Minister set a task to conclude relevant contracts with all legal entities in 2018
“All legal entities must pay for waste management. We do not want to take more money; they just have to pay for waste management,” the Premier said.

It was also reported that a total of 411 million drams was spent for waste management purposes in the region last year, with only 190 million drams collected, of which AMD 95 million from natural persons. It is planned to levy 263 million drams in garbage collection fees in 2018.

AMD 618 million was paid for paid services in healthcare in 2016 against 631 million collected last year. Artur Khachatryan said they plan to increase the amount of healthcare receipts by 40% to 844 million drams in 2018. Referring to medical centers’ arrears, Karen Karapetyan instructed the Governor to submit a relevant analysis for each of them.

“We are now developing a vision for the development of the healthcare system. It is expected to lead to more effective management: fixed costs will decrease, while the targeting of services will increase,” the Prime Minister said and instructed the Head of Healthcare Department of Shirak Marz to submit relevant proposals.

It was reported that the gross agricultural product rose to AMD 20 billion in 2017, which is considerably less than in 2016. This was due adverse climatic conditions and hailstorms. In particular, 157 thousand tons of grain was produced in 2016, while this figure was only 70 thousand on 2017. At the same time, it was reported that the Marz administration was going to establish 22 hectares of intensive orchards and 3 slaughterhouses, whereas the market demand is much more.

Steps will be taken to promote the coverage of State-subsidized programs. There were 20,832 hectares of irrigated land in Shirak Marz in 2017. They will cover an area of 23,500 hectares this year. The Prime Minister instructed to ensure that there is sufficient number of slaughterhouses in Armenia considering that the country will shift to slaughterhouses starting this July.

“Intensive orchards, drip irrigation systems, hail-proof networks and agricultural machinery subsidy programs are profitable in terms of business. We are providing 2-3 percent loans to enable people working in rural communities to succeed, earn money so that becomes a fashionable business,” Karen Karapetyan emphasized and called for ensuring greater number of program beneficiaries.

Issues of effective management of community-owned, regional and republican property, repair of intercommunity roads, and other issues related to infrastructural development were discussed during the meeting.

March 2018