Friday, May 7 2021 16:41
Naira Badalian

Former Prime Minister: If the economic "miracles" of the government  are continued, then in a couple of years, in terms of GDP growth,  Armenia will be in the last ranks of the CIS countries

Former Prime Minister: If the economic "miracles" of the government  are continued, then in a couple of years, in terms of GDP growth,  Armenia will be in the last ranks of the CIS countries

ArmInfo. In post-revolutionary Armenia, people began to live worse.  This is the opinion of  former Prime Minister of Armenia, economist Hrant Bagratyan.

"The economic downturn in the first quarter of this year compared to  2020 continued - up to 2%," Bagratyan wrote on his Facebook page,  referring to the data published by the Statistical Committee. At the  same time, the expert recalled that 2020 was a lockdown and the  economic recession compared to 2019 was 7.8%.

As Bagratyan noted, the decline in the Armenian economy was one of  the highest in the world. So, according to him, the average economic  decline in the CIS countries was 3%, in particular, in Azerbaijan the  indicator was 4.3%, in Belarus - 0.9%, in Kazakhstan - 2.6%, in the  Russian Federation - 3,1%, in Georgia - 6.2%. Tajikistan,  Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan recorded positive growth. The US economy  decreased by 3.5%, Japan - 4.9%, the eurozone countries recorded a  6.6% decline, developing countries - 5%, and the world average was  3.9%. "If the economic" miracles "of this government continue, then  in a couple of years, in terms of economic growth, we will find  ourselves in the last ranks among the CIS countries, leaving  Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan ahead," he said. In this regard, the former  prime minister urged not to believe the promises of the Minister of  Economy about double-digit growth at the end of 2021.

According to Bagratyan, the analysis of certain macroeconomic  indicators is of interest. He noted that economic growth was recorded  in the production of the mining industry, mining and non-metallic  products.  A slight nominal growth was recorded in the export sector,  and that, in his opinion, was due to the increased prices for copper.  "During the reign of the current government, as the expert noted, the  uncontrolled robbery of mines crossed all imaginary boundaries," he  said.

In particular, in the context of a significant increase in copper  prices, manifestations of plunder and corruption deepened. "In the  first quarter of this year, tax revenues to the budget decreased - to  333 billion drams against 349 billion drams in 2020, state revenues  decreased from 370 billion drams to 349 billion drams. At the same  time, as the expert pointed out, an absolute 6% reduction in budget  revenues happened in the conditions of 5.2% inflation. "It turns out  that the real income of the state treasury in the first quarter  decreased by 11.2%. At the same time, the actual revenues of the  state budget in 2020 were lower than the expectations laid down by  the parliament by 8%. And this is taking into account the funds  attracted from the All-Armenian Fund in an illegal way, "he said.

"Tax revenues to the budget in 2020 were underfulfilled by more than  13%," he wrote. As a result, people began to live worse - only in the  first quarter of 2021, the standard of living of citizens (real  income) fell by 3.1% (prices increased by 5.2%, income by only 3.1%).  For the disadvantaged strata of the population, the indicator fell by  5.1%. As a result, the indicator of the extremely poor population of  the Republic of Armenia increased from 1.4% before the revolution to  2.3%, and the number of the poor increased by 5.5% - to 29%. "The  authorities think that poor people vote more correctly. In my  opinion, the policy of the authorities is to rob and oppress as much  as they can, but constantly talk about the robbery of the former  authorities," Hrant Bagratyan concluded.

To recall, yesterday, in an interview with RFE/RL's Armenian Service,  acting Minister of Economy of Armenia Vahan Kerobyan assured that  people in Armenia began to live better. He confirmed his words by the  fact that in the evening in Yerevan, in particular in the city  center, it is impossible to book a table in a restaurant.

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