ArmInfo. Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan paid working visits to Armavir and Aragatsotn Marzes of Armenia, during which the Premier called at Hatsik, Myasnikyan, Lernagog, Arteni, Aragatsavan and Dashtadem communities.
The press office of the Armenian Government reports that Karapetyan talked to the locals asking about the problems, answering their questions and speaking about his government's development plans. Karen Karapetyan urged the residents to get acquainted with and discuss the five-year community development programs and only after that submit them to the Government for approval.
"The problems faced in communities will not be solved unless the community leaders understand how to build the future of the community. We need to be rational, considering all the problems at hand: unemployment, water and gas supply, road building and the like. We will have to specify the targets behind the five-year development programs, including the size of the local budget, the roads' status, as well as your expectations from the Government and so on. Once we translate this into digits and understand the problem, we will be able to cope with it step by step. The Government will support those ready to take on a burden. We cannot change anything unless we improve the management culture through your direct participation. The government program is focused on jobs, but you are the ones to develop an idea," the Prime Minister said, adding that the chief objective is to achieve harmonious per-sector and regional development. "At the community level, we have to solve a lot of problems that call for reasonable management rather than money," the Head of Government noted.
During the meetings, the quasi-totality of communities raised road improvement-related issues. In this connection, Karen Karapetyan said that the Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology is traveling nationwide to make up an inventory of road problems. "Priorities will be set, and we will clearly state the deadlines for reconstruction. You may be dissatisfied with the proposed deadlines, but you will have to take note of our financial bottlenecks. In the meantime, our economic development program implies, and I have no doubts whatsoever that our pocket money will grow day by day," the Premier said, adding that there is a great increase in revenue collection.
Speaking of the agricultural sector, the Prime Minister highlighted the development of cooperatives, noting that the Agricultural Development Fund has been set up to finance various projects aimed at the development of the farming sector.
"The government used to provide fertilizer subsidies to the amount of 2.3 billion drams annually; this year we organized the process in a way to make 1.2 billion-worth savings. In addition, each year importers asked the government for 5 billion drams in advance payment, which is not the case this year. The amounts so saved shall go to fund the lease of agricultural machinery to be made available at 9% interest rate, of which 7% will be covered by the government, which means that farmers will have to pay only 2%," Karen Karapetyan said.
The Premier advised that a fund has been established in cooperation with the Russian Government, which will help establish a network of leased agricultural machinery nationwide. "All this will promote efficiency in agriculture to reduce costs. In general, all necessary resources will be provided at the lowest market price," Karen Karapetyan emphasized.
Speaking of interest rates, the Prime Minister said that he himself is very much concerned about this issue, because the applicable high rates hinder the reproduction of the economy. Karen Karapetyan said that the Central Bank has cut interest rates four times since last October. "We have established various foundations to provide cheap money to get through. As soon as it appears on the market, the interest rates will go down," he said.