Wednesday, November 16 2022 18:27
Naira Badalian

Armenia`s defense expenditures in 2023, compared to 2018, will  increase by 113%: Pashinyan announces transition to professional army

Armenia`s defense expenditures in 2023, compared to 2018, will  increase by 113%: Pashinyan announces transition to professional army

ArmInfo.. As a result of the voluntary certification of military personnel, the salaries of the servicemen will at least double, and in some cases even triple,  Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on November 16 in the  country's parliament during the discussion of the draft state budget  for 2023.

Pashinyan drew attention to a significant increase in defense  spending next year. Thus, according to him, according to the draft  state budget for 2023, the expenditures of the defense sector are  planned at the level of 509 billion drams, compared to 2018, the  growth, will be 113%, and compared to the figure for this year - by  47%. 

Earlier in the Parliament, Minister of Finance of the Republic of  Armenia Tigran Khachatryan noted that the expenditures in the field  of defense of Armenia, according to the draft state budget for 2023,  will amount to 506 billion drams. This will be 35% higher than in the  adjusted 2022 budget, reaching 5% of GDP.

As the Prime Minister pointed out, there is no less important content  behind these figures. "Thus, we are moving to a professional army,"  he said, recalling the reforms in the field of military education. In  particular, graduates of military universities will receive an  apartment after their appointment. It will be their property, and the  possibility of its alienation will be after the expiration of the  contract.

Touching upon the tax revenues of the state treasury, the prime  minister indicated that they are planned at the level of 2 trillion  204 billion drams in 2023, which is 946 billion drams or 75.1% more  than in 2018.  "After 4.5 years, the government that went through the  war and the pandemic proposes a project that exceeds the budget (for  2018) by 75%," Pashinyan noted.

The head of the Cabinet also announced an increase in spending in the  social sector. So, in this direction, allocations, compared to 2018,  will increase by 56%. He recalled that in September this year,  pensions have increased (by 3 thousand drams - ed. note), in  addition, the country's authorities have introduced a system of 10%  cashback for non-cash purchases of pensioners and persons receiving  benefits. This is an additional 5 thousand drams. The next increase  in pensions is planned for July 2023, he noted.

The budget of the Ministry of Health next year, compared to 2018,  will grow by 87%. <The salary of medical workers of polyclinics and  rural outpatient clinics will increase by 40,000 drams or 20-23%>,  Pashinyan said. He also recalled that from January 1, 2023, only  certified medical workers will be able to work in the Armenian  healthcare sector.

Allocations to the sector of education and science in 2023, compared  to 2018, will increase by 75%. In particular, funding for science in  Armenia in 2023, compared to 2018, will increase by 154%. Instead of  14.2 billion drams, which were allocated in 2018, in 2023, funding  for science will amount to 36.2 billion drams - an increase of more  than 2.5-fold. He recalled the need to pass a voluntary certification  to increase teachers' salaries, up to 400,000 drams.

As the prime minister pointed out, by the end of this year, 24  schools and 53 kindergartens will be put into operation in Armenia,  by the end of next year - 64 schools and 141 kindergartens. In 2023,  the construction, repair or overhaul of 85 schools and 130  kindergartens will begin. In general, according to the government  program, 300 new schools and 500 kindergartens will be built in the  country by 2026.

Financing of the sports sector next year will increase by 69% - up to  5 billion drams, compared to 2018, the growth will be 163%.

Nikol Pashinyan also touched upon criticism of the current government  due to the liquidation of the RA Ministry of Agriculture (currently  the Ministry of Agriculture is part of the Ministry of Economy - ed.   note). He pointed out that in 2023, the financing of the sector,  compared to 2018 (it was in May 2018 that the "velvet revolution"  took place and Pashinyan was elected prime minister), will increase  by 300% - up to 38 billion drams.  

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