by Հովհաննես Ղազարյան
Armenia's transition to the compulsory pension contribution system is a "shock therapy", Levon Zurabyan, Head of the opposition Armenian National Congress Faction, said during the Parliament's extraordinary session on the country's switch to the compulsory pension contribution system.
Zurabyan said that the Armenian Government neglects the fact that it is possible to apply the "shock therapy" policy only in case of people's boundless confidence in the authorities. "However, one cannot say anything about public confidence in the Armenian authorities", he said.
Zurabyan said that the newly-created pension funds will be managed by the authorities' people, and this increases the corruption risks. "Moreover, the authorities introduce artificial differentiation between the generations. The new reform only concerns the citizens born after 1974", he said.
He stressed that to conduct such cardinal reforms, the authorities should first of all solve the social and migration problems. "We suggest putting off the bill's coming into effect for a year and spending that time on searches for a compromising solution to the problem", said Zurabyan. He stressed the need to remove the term "compulsory" from the document. In that case, he said, the Armenian National Congress will vote for the document.
To note, the opposition factions of Armenian Parliament have initiated an extraordinary session, because the pension reform has caused a wide public response. Following the reforms, the citizens of Armenia will have to pay more taxes amid the wide-scale social crisis.