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Official News

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Karen Karapetian orders to bring illegal water users into the legal field: “Otherwise, shut off the water intake point”

A regular Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.

Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister gave a number of instructions. The Premier’s first recommendation referred to the preparations for irrigation. “We had previously assigned to conduct a systemic survey of cadastre-specified, planned and actual arable land. The State Water Management Committee has provided statistics different from that available from communities and other organizations. According to the State Water Management Committee, the actual area of irrigated land stands at about 47% of total arable land registered in the cadastre. We find it unacceptable,” Karen Karapetyan said.

To this end, the Prime Minister gave the ministers of Agriculture, Territorial Administration and Development, as well as the heads of State Water Management Committee and State Immovable Property Cadastre 10 days to conduct a systemic survey in 20 communities with greatest statistical deviations and analyze the reasons behind the gap.

The Premier’s next recommendation related to water losses. “According to the government’s decision, water is let out each year from Lake Sevan for irrigation purposes, which is implemented through the Sevan-Hrazdan energy system (International Energy Corporation). Here we used to have large water losses. This problem has been much talked about over the past few years, but no tangible progress has been made as of yet,” Karen Karapetyan pointed out.

The Prime Minister instructed the ministers of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources, Nature Protection, Territorial Administration and Development, as well as the head of State Water Management Committee as follows: “Please be sure to bring illegal water users into the legal field prior to the start of the irrigation campaign. Otherwise, shut off the water intake point,” The Prime Minister suggested that the Lake Sevan Commission by Presidency should join the proposed campaign.

Regarding the enforcement of constitutional changes and providing legal security, Karen Karapetyan noted that considerable work had been done to ensure the implementation of the constitutional amendments of December 6, 2015. “In particular, five new legal acts have been adopted, of which four constitutional laws. But I think that to ensure maximum efficiency of work, we need to fully summarize the work done so far and formulate our future steps,” the Head of Government said and instructed the Minister of Justice to submit by June 10, 2017 a draft concept of legal security and a targeted action plan to ensure its implementation. Within a 1-month period, the Ministry shall study the conformity of the applicable regulatory framework with the Constitution, constitutional laws and other statutory laws of the Republic of Armenia. A deadline of 3 weeks will be allowed for submitting a progress report on the process of adopting new laws or amending the standing ones as a result constitutional changes.

The Premier gave the heads of executive agencies two weeks to make out an inventory of draft laws sent to the National Assembly and submit recommendations as to the expediency of further discussion or withdrawal thereof. “Many of those bills sent to the National Assembly have neither been discussed-adopted nor reworded-adapted for a long time. We have not yet received an opinion as to whether they are important or not,” the Prime Minister noted.

Given the growing public interest for the Kumayri Historical Center project in Gyumri, Karen Karapetyan instructed the Chairman of State Committee for Urban Planning in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture to identify by the deadline of June 10, 2017 a pilot district on the site specified in the project and develop its detailed planning and engineering infrastructure development activities. It was decided that Haynakhagits Studio OJSC director, honored architect of Armenia Sashur Kalashyan should be involved as project coordinator. The Committee is also supposed to submit a timetable.

The meeting approved the concept of reform of the traffic police and the ensuing schedule of events. A total of 24 events are planned for the reform of the system, which will help improve the quality of services provided to the population, reduce the corruption risks, the number and consequences of road accidents and ease the administrative burden. In particular, it is proposed to call off (or waive) the requirement of 25% or 50% accrual to be paid for failure to settle the fine within the specified period. As a result, a simpler and a more effective system of calculation and imposition of fines will be established from the perspective of human rights.

The Executive approved a bill on amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia that will help harmonize the criminal law provisions on the use of real or alleged influence with international standards.

The amendment suggests considering the use of real or alleged influence not only from the perspective of personal motivation, but also from other perspectives, including the group interests. In addition, it is proposed to extend the validity of the offense in question and the cases where real or alleged influence used for the benefit of third parties.

The meeting next approved the Dilijan National Park’s management plan for 2017-2026 and the program of priority measures. The primary objective of the management plan is to bring the zoning of the Park in compliance with IUCN category 2 standards.

The Cabinet approved a proposal to sign a memorandum of understanding between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and Technology & Science Dynamics Co. on the promotion of innovations and telecommunications. The MOU will help promote information technologies, telecommunications, innovations and competitiveness, as well as create jobs and attract foreign investment.

October 2020