Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Alexandr Avanesov
Embezzlement of Armenia's state budget has totaled 700 mln USD, Levon Zurabyan, Head of the opposition Armenian National Congress Faction, said at today's parliamentary hearings on the state budget.
He said that the major part of this amount was robbed before being included in the Armenian budget. "According to the international organizations' conclusions, the taxes/GDP ratio for Armenia is to be 21%, i.e. the budget amount should have been 3.6 bln USD. Moreover, this amount does not include social payments", stressed Zurabyan. He added that shadow economy is the major part of deficiencies, and the state budget funds are simply robbed.
Armenian Economy Minister Vahram Avanesyan, in turn, said that the state revenues/GDP ratio of Armenia, including social payments, is nearly 24% now. "This is a reasonable index. Though the state budget revenues are beyond the competence of the Economy Ministry, nevertheless, one can point at some problems to be resolved", said the minister. He added that the Government is going to seriously tackle the issues related to the budget revenues by analyzing the macroeconomics.
To note, the parliamentary hearings on the state budget were over on Nov 4. The parliamentarians have three days to submit their suggestions and remarks. Afterwards the draft budget will be discussed at the plenary session of the Armenian National Assembly. On Sept 28 the Government approved the draft state budget of Armenia for 2014. Revenues are fixed at 1.161.9 bln AMD, expenditures - at 1.277.5 bln AMD ($1 - 405.29 AMD), and deficit - at 115.6 bln AMD. Economic growth is forecasted to be 5.2% in 2014. The 12-month inflation is fixed at 4% (+/-1.5%). GDP 2014 will be 4,723.700 trillion AMD. The share of taxes and duties in the budget revenues will be 23.1% iof GDP. Nearly 45.6% of expenditures fall on the social sphere, 21.1% - on defense and national security, and 11.7% - on economic sectors.