by Tigran Khachatryan
When Tigran Sargsyan was the head of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), he was trying to stimulate construction, but failed to, ex-Prime Minister of Armenia, opposition MP Hrant Bagratyan says on his Facebook page, when responding to the incumbent Prime Minister's opinion that during the pre-crisis period Armenia's economy was poorly diversified and grew due to the construction bubble only. To note, Tigran Sargsyan expressed his opinion in his indirect debates with the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan.
He says that in 2001-2007 construction grew from 110 bln to 671 bln AMD, with the state and the banks' shares being 9-10% and 80%, respectively. It was then that the chief banker of the country was the incumbent Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan.
"The Prime Minister's statements have nothing to do with the financial or the construction bubble. There was nothing of the kind in Armenia. In this case everything is clear. Migration grew 5-fold. In 2001-2007 an average of 15-20 thsd people annually left Armenia, whereas in 2008-2013 the average annual migration totaled 63 thsd people. Now people are leaving Armenia forever. They are selling their houses. As a result, resonant pressure occurred on the property market, where the supply is high and there is almost no demand. The outflow of the population results in reduction of property buyers amid the regular housing growth", says Bagratyan.
As regards the pension reform, Bagratyan does not share the opinion of the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan. Bagratyan thinks that there are no contradictions between the two models of pension systems (compulsory contribution pension system and solidarity between generations). These systems should be properly compared, he says.
"These two pension models are quite coherent. The authorities' decision to switch to the compulsory system was mostly spontaneous. On the other hand, they took certain steps to harmonize the new model with the current system of solidarity between generations. Particularly, at the end of a fiscal year employees will be granted tax privileges, which will make the system non-compulsory. Employers will also make the payments. One in a decade an employee will be able to use his or her funds. In order to make pension funds more efficient, the size requirement to their capitals must be reduced from 500mln AMD to 200mln AMD. We must also prevent the outflow of this money from the country. This is crucial for our sovereignty," Bagratyan says.
This is Bagratyan's response to the recent dispute between former President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan and current Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan.
In his interview to 2rd.am, Kocharyan slated Sargsyan and urged him to work instead of blaming his predecessors.