Thursday, June 4 2020 11:10
Alexandr Avanesov

Report on activities of Economy Ministry for 2019 submitted to RA  Prime Minister 

Report on activities of Economy Ministry for 2019 submitted to RA  Prime Minister 

ArmInfo.Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, another hearing on public agencies' performance reports was held in the Office of Government, the press  service of RA PM reports.

Minister of Economy Tigran Khachatryan reported on the activities  implemented in the period under review as part of the Government's  2019-2023 Action Plan. 56 activities were completed in 2019 in  addition to six activities implemented in the first four months of  2020.

The measures taken in 2019 were aimed at improving the business  environment, establishing legal regulations for public-private sector  partnerships, deepening international cooperation, improving tourism  infrastructures, promoting agriculture, and the measures taken in the  first four months aimed at removing barriers to mutual trade within  the EAEU and with third countries, establishing import and export  procedures in Armenia with third countries, creating a database of  public-private sector partnerships, etc.

The Minister of Economy noted that some of activities were not  completed in 2019 and will be implemented in 2020, in parallel with  the program of activities for the current year. In priority areas  benefits for exemption from customs duties under investment programs  were provided to 57 programs worth 175 billion drams, VAT deferral  was provided to 15 programs worth 58.8 billion drams.

As part of tourism development programs, the roads leading to Tatev  Monastery and Sochut Arboretum, 6 streets in the Kumayri Historical  District, and the road leading to the Natural Monument Symphony of  Stones have been improved, information measures have been taken to  increase Armenia's tourist attractiveness.

A number of agreements have been signed to strengthen cooperation  between the EAEU and third countries. Several programs have been  implemented for more than 400 service sector and industry  representatives, including over 100 businessmen. As part of complex  measures aimed at mitigating the adverse economic impact of COVID-19,  assistance worth AMD 49,4billion was made available to the  population, more than two dozen webinars were organized for business  people, which are available online.  The Minister next referred to  the programs implemented by the Investments Support Center and the  State Interest Foundation of Armenia. He stressed that the strategies  targeting industry, SMEs, tourism and metrology are being finalized  in order to reflect the situation caused by the pandemic.

23 projects are underway in the framework of the Strategy for  Sustainable Development of Agriculture, and a strategy has been  adopted to improve the business environment. In the context of  upcoming events, long- term measures will be taken to improve the  business and investment environment, develop industry, promote SMEs,  and support and modernize agriculture.

After the Minister's report, Nikol Pashinyan asked about the process  and quality of the work carried out in priority areas. The following  was stated in response to the Prime Minister's inquiry:  - Procedures  have been developed to streamline the legal framework which regulates  the public-private sector partnership. The Prime Minister was briefed  on the key principles for building public-private partnerships. The  Minister noted that a relevant draft is being discussed in the  government.  - As part of the efforts aimed at improving Armenia's  Doing Business standing, the results of individual government  departments' activities were summed up, owing to which Armenia's  position is expected to improve in a number of spheres.  - concerning  the development of the analytical potential of the Ministry of  Economy, proposals were developed on the formation of necessary  tools, involvement of qualified specialists and the improvement of  legislative regulations for information availability. It is planned  to have an appropriate model in the first half of 2021.

The Prime Minister next asked about the implementation of the  agriculture development strategy. The Minister said work is being  done to improve support programs and tax regulations, to implement a  land reform, implement a cattle numbering program and launch a system  of mandatory slaughterhouses.  As part of support action, 12 programs  are being implemented, including subsidizing interest rates on loans  for agriculture and agro-processing (60 billion drams), state support  for leasing of agricultural machinery and food processing equipment  (more than 5 billion drams). The process of introducing intensive  orchards, drip irrigation systems and anti-hail networks was also  presented.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of effective  implementation of state support programs for agriculture and  instructed to take measures to accelerate the pace of the ongoing  activities.  The land reform is expected to start in Armavir and  Ararat marzes. Steps are being taken jointly with farms.  Measurable  results may be achieved after the epidemiological situation has been  eased by the end of the year.

The Prime Minister was told that the cattle numbering program is  ready and will soon be submitted to the government for discussion.  Once approved by the government, it will be launched along with an  awareness raising campaign. In this context, the Minister reported  progress in sheep, pedigree cattle breeding and slaughterhouse  construction programs. Coming to tax regulations applicable in  agriculture, he noted that the goal is to support small farms by  harmonizing and improving tax regimes and stimulating local  production.  In response to the Prime Minister's question, he noted  that a package of specific proposals would be submitted in July this  year.  The Prime Minister approved the performance of the Ministry of  Economy as a whole. At the same time, he emphasized the need to speed  up the pace and increase the efficiency of the ongoing efforts and  gave relevant instructions.  

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