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Official News

Thursday, 19 November 2015

PM: Government committed to open and transparent policies.








A regular Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan. Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister made a point of Government-Media cooperation.

“Our government is committed to open and transparent practices. We need be honest and consistent in introducing our programs and activities to society by keeping in close touch with media outlets.

I am urging all ministers to be more active and proactive in these matters. They should take any opportunity for a more open communication. For example, during Cabinet sittings there are usually scores of journalists waiting at the entrance of the House of Government. Each of us should use this opportunity to once again communicate with the public, clarify issues, and not, say, get away through the backyard. Otherwise, concerns have recently been voiced about the loans, while the ministries and departments concerned have so far failed to provide information to the public.

I am hereby instructing all the agencies concerned to regularly inform the public at large of the results of the ongoing programs, including specific indicators, progress and problems. We have nothing to hide from our people, and we need to behave accordingly” the Prime Minister concluded.

To build up energy capacity and enhance exports of electric power, the Government approved the memorandum of understanding to be signed between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and Renco Company on construction of a 234 MW combined-cycle TPP in Yerevan. Under the Memorandum, Renco pledges to carry out a feasibility study in 4 months’ time and build the plant at its own expense within 30 months of the signing of the corresponding agreement. The project has an estimated cost of 215 million US dollars.

Stressing the importance of this project, the Prime Minister noted that it brings in foreign investment without increasing the country’s external debt.

According to Hovik Abrahamyan, consistency is needed in order to avoid further problems. At the same time, the Prime Minister instructed to discuss the matter with all interested ministries and departments.

Another decision was passed to provide housing to several earthquake-affected households left homeless in the disaster zone. In this connection, the Premier pointed out, “I think that this Gyumri project should be talked about much and duly introduced to the public. Note that as instructed by the President of the Republic of Armenia, USD 200 million has been spent on the project since 2008. By providing housing certificates we address the problem. Mr. Sargsyan, you have to consistently promote this process forward and complete it with success.”

As part of the “Marketing opportunities for farmers” lending program as signed between the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Republic of Armenia on January 8, 2008 for the recovery of amounts not recognized as eligible expenses by the Fund, the Government Staff of the Republic of Armenia will be provided a sum equivalent to more than 173 thousand US dollars from the Government’s reserve fund.

The meeting was informed that the aforementioned expenditure as carried out under the International Fund for Agricultural Development-supported program, implemented in 2008-2010 was considered to be non-eligible, and criminal proceedings have been launched in this connection.

The Prime Minister expressed his concern and asked the Minister of Justice to follow up on the prompt settlement of the issue. Hovik Abrahamyan noted that the Government will reimburse the mismanaged spending looking forth to program continuity and refund of lost amounts.

Before discussing the next item on the agenda, Healthcare Minister Armen Muradyan presented the findings of the monitoring of drugs. In May-October, 2015, the Ministry of Healthcare monitored the top 50 best-selling drugs marketed by Armenia’s four largest importers in accordance with the applicable price list and volume of imports.

The monitoring has demonstrated that the price of 60 percent of drugs remained unchanged, 34 percent depreciated by about 30 percent, while the cost of 6 percent of medicines rose by 3 percent due to the seasonality of sales.

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan once again urged those responsible to inform the public thereof in order to avoid unfounded rumors. The monitoring has revealed that there is no problem at all: prices are even down, as a matter of fact. It should be voiced aloud and introduced to the public. I am asking all my colleagues to be careful in this matter.
 

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