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Official News

Friday, 28 February 2014

PM Meets Public Council Members To Discuss Issues Of Public Concern










Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan welcomed a Public Council chairman Vazgen Manukyan-led PC delegation to the Office of Government.

Issues related to Armenia’s development prospects, as well as other priority issues of public concern were discussed. Reference was made to the introduction of a mandatory funded pension system, Zvartnots airport’s former terminal building, as well as cultural, educational, healthcare and agricultural questions.

Vazgen Manukyan made a number of proposals concerning the funded pension system. In particular, he suggested reducing the projected threshold of 5% allowing the stakeholders to evaluate the model’s effectiveness, as well as to refrain from extending the mandatory component to salaries beyond AMD 500,000 and so on.

In this connection, the Premier said there is no record of a bill taking 3 years to be adopted and enacted in the history of our newly independent state. “We did so in order society and businesses might get ready for the new law. Several workshops have been held to that effect. No bill has been elaborated by 3 different governments, four coalition parties and two Presidents of the Republic. It was developed in cooperation with top international experts who studied the best models available in the world,” the Prime Minister noted.

The head of government reminded that a larger part of society was opposed to the mandatory insurance system, but the situation changed drastically after its introduction, and now it is deemed to be one of the government’s best reforms. At the same time, Tigran Sargsyan appreciated the fact that the public is voicing concern about the ongoing pension reform as it may promote the development of civil society in our country.”

“There is no alternative to this reform, because the rising generation cannot enjoy a secure old age amid increasingly aging population. International experts say we should take this historic chance, otherwise the cost of the reform will be too high. We have a historic opportunity to ensure a prosperous and secure old age for our youth,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

The Prime Minister noted that according to international experts, the system would be ineffective, if less than 10 percent is saved. That is why the State is going to double the amounts so saved. “AMD20bn has been earmarked from the State budget, because we are convinced that this reform is our future. It will create serious institutions, long money, highly-skilled managers, personal accounts and sustainable income tax records in the country. The U.S. Ambassador to Armenia believes that the reform provides a most serious anti-corruption tool as it reduces the employees’ motivation to report low salaries considering that the government will double their personal savings,” Tigran Sargsyan pointed out.

Whereas a reserve fund is to be established to ensure the return of savings allowing for inflation, the Prime Minister reiterated that people’s savings will be lost only if a global economic collapse occurs,

Zvartnots airport terminal’s question was commented on by GDCA head Zrtyom Movsesyan. The Prime Minister advised that talked are underway with the concessionaire to find a solution acceptable to all the stakeholders. He suggested the Public Council to take part in the discussion.

The issue of Ararat valley water resources was raised at the meeting. Thanking the Public Council for consistency in the matter, the head of government said the Environmental Inspectorate seeks to bring illegal operators into the legal field and prevent possible water disaster.

The members of the Public Council thanked the Premier for meaningful discussion and agreed to continue such meetings.
 

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