ArmInfo. At a meeting with the representatives of a number of domestic companies involved in the production and processing of agricultural products, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan discussed current problems and ways of developing the agricultural sector, the press-service of the government informs.
"The government's main function is to support instead of impeding business activities. Is agricultural policy correct or not; is the subsidy we provide right or not; are we to stand by everyone? What is the best way to provide assistance? We must stand by the successful, by those shouldering a burden so that we can form our joint strategy in this area," the Premier said.
The meeting discussed issues related to the activities of agricultural producers and greenhouse farms, including exports, imports, distribution and sales, logistics, access to energy, tax and customs administration, as well as public-private sector partnership mechanisms. After listening to the problems, Karen Karapetyan said, "Processing entities will enjoy preferential gas tariffs as long as it will take them to get afloat: no matter what abilities we have, because it will be embarrassing for the gas supplier. As to subsidy, we need to understand how we can help our producers so that they are more competitive on the international market. Shall we always help them? No, because we will thereby shut the doors for further competition: manufacturers will rest and stop making progress."
Speaking of tax and customs administration reforms, the Prime Minister stressed that the government will continue endeavoring to ensure equal tax regulations and encourage law-abiding taxpayers.
Coming to the issue of food safety and quality assurance, the Prime Minister said that a new head of State Food Security Service has been appointed, who is supposed to exercise strict control over this sector.
Turning to the expediency of subsidies, Karen Karapetyan said, "We are going to set up a foundation with a primary objective to bolster entrepreneurship so that they could earn money. We will only subsidize those entities which can be successful and ask for no more subsidies tomorrow."
Summing up the discussion, the Prime Minister said that he expected the participants of the consultation to submit a package of proposals on simplification of tax and customs administration, transport and communications, alternate routes, adjustment of reforming the vocational education system and the targeting of subsidies.
The Head of Government stressed the need for developing specific business programs with a well-calculated multiplier effect and clear-cut commitments of each party.
"No one will develop your business on your behalf, no one will build our country, our villages for us, no one will give us money for nothing. Money will be available if there is a rationale. Please set up a working group to develop a joint strategy in cooperation with the Minister of Agriculture on how we will educate, subsidize, support, enlarge entities and boost exports,," Prime Minister Karapetyan concluded.