ArmInfo. "We will hold auditing of all presented licensees in subsurface use sphere", Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan stated during the Government session on April 20.
According to him, current legislation in subsurface use sphere stipulates the governing conditions, monitoring and processing entities accountability. With that the criteria of conducting monitoring and orders of reports presenting are not fixed. As a result of these legislative gaps, there is no opportunity to estimate the real affect of subsurface acquisition, as well as to undertake relevant preventative means.
With that, the Prime Minister instructed Minister of Nature Protection to process and present the Government the package of legal acts in three months, based on international experience, which will cause the possibility to regulate the conducting procedure correspondent to the monitoring and assignment of accountability.
Referring to the Minister of Energetic Infrastructures and Natural resources, Karen Karapetyan noted, "We will conduct auditing of all assigned licensees and the obligations on investments".
The head of the Government stressed that processing entities were warned once. "We told them to give us projects. With those, who will present projects, we will sit and reach agreements, we will register several terms. With those, who would not react, we will talk very toughly on canceling the licensees", Karen Karapetyan stressed.
To recall, earlier appropriate modifications to the licensing procedures were approved by the Government at its session on February 16. According to Ashot Manukyan, The Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources, according to the actual procedure, the subsoil operators possess a permission to operate lands without any competition. At the same time, the same procedure sets forth the construction right obtaining based only on the appropriate tender procedure. New procedure allows to build up and operate underground facilities without a competition or a bidding process.
Answering the question of Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan what it will give to the sector entities, the Minister clarified: "Today subsoil operators, obtaining the right to operate lands, should be ready to settle their further transactions and liabilities related with the owners of lands mentioned. If they could obtain the land leasehold right without a tender, than the right to launch construction works and all the appropriate permits could be obtained just and only based on the results of a tender. This raises additional obstacles for business, and within the purpose to cancel those obstacles, we offer to grant such rights without a tender as well," Ashot Manukyan stated. Earlier Armenian Government, meeting the wishes of the mining sector companies, has submitted to National Assembly a draft package on tax discount modifications to make the tax load easier. According to Khachatryan, in the result of this arrangement, in the case the indirect method of evaluation is applied to the royalty tax base, it is proposed to implement the 80% limit instead of actual 90%/ It is expected also, that starting with 2017, the base used for he calculation royalty will stand essentially closer to the limits of benefits obtained.
To remind, in 2016, the industrial produce in Armenia grew 6.7% versus 2015 (against 5.2% growth a year before) to AMD 1.429 trln ($2.9bln). Improvement of processing industry dynamics and continuing upward trend of mining sector, which traditionally remains the key driver in the industry dynamics, contributed to acceleration of growth rates. In Dec 2016 alone, the industrial output increased 6.4% (versus 9.3% rise in Dec 2015) to AMD 143.4 bln (297 mln USD). In Jan-Dec 2016 versus the same period of 2015, mining industry and open pit mining increased 8.3% (versus 50.4% growth a year before) to 256.4bln drams. In Dec alone, the mining industry output totaled 23.6 bln drams with a 2.2% monthly growth.
Manufacturing industry increased 7.7% y-o-y (vs 5.6% decline a year before) to AMD 885 bln , AMD 89.2 bln of which - in December with 4.9% monthly growth. Production of non-metallic mineral products declined by 20.4% in Jan-Dec 2016, chemical industry output fell by 8.7%, textile production by 4.8%. In the meantime, jewelry output rose 97.7%, production of computers, electric and optic equipment - by 27.5%, production of tobacco- by 23.5%, and clothes - by 16.4%. In the manufacturing industry segment, food output made up 287.3 AMD, base metals - 152.5 bln AMD, cigarettes - 135.1 bln AMD, and beverages - 110.9 bln AMD.