ArmInfo. Armenia's Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan believes that during 6-7 non-working days on New Year holidays, people are obsessed by gluttony. "This is not a Christian way," Kerobyan said on October 26 at the plenary session of the National Assembly, including by this factor substantiating the project, initiated by him, on reducing the New Year's holidays.
So, presenting the draft amendments to the law "On Holidays and Memorable Dates", according to which it is proposed to reduce the New Year holidays to 3days, the head of the Ministry of Economy said that long holidays negatively affect the rate of economic growth of the country, and the extra four days of work will create an additional volume of goods and services.
The idea was supported by the ruling Civil Contract faction, considering it an objective necessity, while the parliamentary opposition, on the contrary, opposed this legislative initiative. According to the opposition factions, the initiator could not justify the need to reduce non-working days during the New Year and Christmas celebrations. The MPs from the "Armenia" faction proposed to add two more to the three non- working ones - September 2 and September 7.
It should be reminded that on September 16, the government of Armenia, without a report or discussion, approved the corresponding amendments to the law of the republic "On Holidays and Memorable Days of the Republic of Armenia". According to the explanation to the document, article 1 of the law adopted on June 24, 2001, which states that "Christmas holidays and New Year are celebrated from December 31 to January 6, non-working days are December 31, January 1.2 (New Year) and 6 January (Nativity of Christ and Holy Epiphany) "will be presented as follows: " Christmas holidays and New Year - celebrated from December 31 to January 1 inclusive (New Year) and January 6 (Christmas and Holy Epiphany), non- working days. " January 2-5 and 7 are declared working days. According to the initiator of the amendments, "the number of paid days off for the citizens of Armenia exceeds the number of paid days off in many developed and especially developing countries", which negatively affects the economy of the republic. "Weekends and holidays, due to the fact that they are non- working, affect the country's GDP, as well as the fulfillment of contractual obligations with local and foreign partner organizations," the Economy Ministry believes. The economic authorities of the country calculated that an additional 5 working days will provide Armenia's GDP with an increase of 88.6 billion drams or 1.5% of GDP, the total gross output will increase by 123 billion drams, the gross output of trade by 47.5 billion drams, and industry by - 35.4 billion drams, services - by 33.9 billion drams, the output of the agricultural sector and construction - by 3.5 billion drams from 2.9 billion drams, respectively.
The initiative has already been discussed in the government on April 15, 2021. As Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted then, the country's authorities also solve problems in the healthcare sector by this. "It is not known during this period people are resting or, in fact, acquiring new health problems," he said. In general, the prime minister urged not to panic and try to understand all the advantages of the initiative. Then the ministers of labor and social affairs and the head of the Ministry of Finance did not agree with the calculations of the head of the Ministry of Economy. As the heads of these departments noted, it is impossible to say about the absolute benefits of the bill. "We propose to leave at least 3 non-working days," former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mesrop Arakelyan said. In particular, former Minister of Finance Atom Janjughazyan, in turn, stated that he was ready to argue with Kerobyan's argument that the amendments would necessarily provide the budget with an additional 88 billion drams. Arsen Torosyan, the former head of the prime minister's staff, now a deputy from the Civil Contract, entered the controversy, supporting Kerobyan's position, referring to his past experience of working as a head of a medical institution.