ArmInfo. Yerevan. Armenian Finance Minister Vardan Aramyan denies media's information that when discussing the budget for 2018, all ministries were internally ordered to cut expenses by about 7% so that available funds could be used to service the country's public debt in the future. The share of truth in all this, as Finance Minister of Armenia Vardan Aramyan told ArmInfo correspondent on Sept. 25, is to show some restraint in the formation of current expenses.
According to the Minister, a small revolution was carried out in the preparation of the medium-term expenditure program for 2018-2020. For the first time, going beyond the framework of economic ideology, so-called "protected" expenditures were withdrawn. Thus, it was decided that starting from 2018, Armenia plans to increase defense spending by 26-27 billion drams annually, bringing from the current 3.7% to 4% of GDP. In the same group, expenditures were incurred for servicing the state dogleg and expenses arising from Armenia's international obligations, as well as funds allocated for financial equalization programs for communities and for capital expenditures. "The funds were allocated to the spheres, and the request was sent to the departments to determine their own priorities." Thus, there was no internal indication that the ministries cut their budget by 7%, "the minister explained, adding that the main task financial department for today is to ensure through proper management of fiscal policy to ensure a gradual economic growth. As for the national debt, Vardan Aramyan explained that in 2016 the total state debt was 56.6% of GDP or $ 5.9 billion, while the external debt plus the Central Bank's debt was $ 4.8 billion. By the end of 2017, it will grow to 58.8% of GDP - Armenia's external debt will increase by $ 400 million, domestic debt - by $ 30 million. "The total external debt will be $ 5.4 billion, and the domestic debt - $ 1 billion 269 million," the minister said. At the same time, the Armenian government sees no problems in the government debt management plan, as the head of the Armenian Ministry of Finance once again pointed out.
To remind, the total state debt of Armenia reached $ 6.259 billion by August 31, 2017. As of August 31 this year, the external debt amounted to $ 5.020 billion, and domestic - $ 1.238 billion. From 2017 to 2020, the projected annual growth of government debt on average will be $ 480 million.