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Exclusive

Armenia's former prime minister: The indicator of the economic growth in Armenia is extremely low for the first half of 2014

  • by Alexandr Avanesov

  • Friday, July 25, 15:23

The indicator of the economic growth in Armenia is extremely low for the first half of 2014 versus the same period of 2013, the former prime minister of Armenia, a member of the parliament from the opposition Armenian National Congress, Hrant Bagratyan, wrote at his "Facebook" page.

He also added that in the first half of 2014 the GDP index was 3,4% versus the same period of 2013. The GDP index was 3,1% for the 1Q 2014. "So, we have just 0,3% "progress" and no economic growth. But how one can compare himself with the former government and say that the situation has improved a little?

The former government was simply a mistake and was drawing the wool over our eyes for 6 years, especially that there was almost no growth in the key branches of economy (industry, agriculture and construction). Export grew by 0.8%, and import - by 1.1%...The highest positive progress is noticed only in the sphere of services",  - Bagratyan said. 

He said that one can strictly assess the activity of the new government at the end of October of the current year, after six month of activity.  "However, today I can say that we were waiting for more but for the three month of activity the government made just a couple of reforming steps. For instance, it has started returning VAT to tourists...But is it hard to develop the economy of the country? We just need equal tax field for everybody. When we say that small and big business are equally taxated, we should understand that a big business has an effect of volume that should be neutralized.  Only after that, the field will become equal. The tax system should be changed fully and immediately. When giving tax privileges to micro business, we do not resolve the problem but worsen it. If there is no business, privileges are senseless. Actually, there is no business, as the tax field has not been equally distributed.

Let's touch on investments and state assistance. Stop relaying only on big plants (external and local) and on philanthropists! The country should be  built by people and investments should be decetralized. We have to attract the funds of millions of Armenians for development of the country through the investment funds and investment banks. The state should help to form clusters  and guarantee minimal profitability of certain strategic investments. Moreover, all the dominating and monopolist companies, banks, telephone operators, "Gasprom-Armenia", Kajaran, Tekhut, Agarak, Kapan. "City", "SAS", etc. should have a status of a OJSC and should be taken to auction at the stock market. Then, financial system should be separated from the state, and Central Bank should stop saving this or that bank and ensuring revenues for the budget.  And finally, local government bodies should have enough funds and should not beg Yerevan for money. I can continue the list. What hinders you to implement all this? Thanks to the reforms made at the beginning of the 90s, we had a double-digit growth for several years. But reserves ended in 2007. Now we need another approach. the previous government did not understand it. But what about the new one?", - Armenia's former prime minister asked. 

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