Nikol Pashinyan: “The Government’s focus is to preserve Armenia’s biodiversity”
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The government approved a proposal to sign a grant agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the Rehabilitation Credit Bank to the amount of € 23,208,483.13 concerning the Biodiversity and Sustainable Local Development in Armenia program. The eight-year project will ensure the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in biodiversity-rich areas.
Within the framework of the Grant Program, it is envisaged to implement measures to improve and manage protected areas, natural resources and natural monuments, to restore sustainable forest management, forest landscape and forest restoration, to promote socio-economic development in the selected communities and promote eco-tourism.
Nikol Pashinyan noted in this connection: “As we are discussing this issue, I think it is the right moment to state that our government’s commitment and strategic focus is to preserve and develop Armenia’s biodiversity. We are guided by the motto of Eco Armenia, which means that we will be mindful of environmental issues.”
As the Acting Prime Minister pointed out, there is a lot of talk about the prospects of mining industry that has given rise to different interpretations. “We have never said that mining industry will be closed in Armenia; we say that mining industry in Armenia should abide by most stringent international standards. We will take consistent steps to establish such standards in our country,” Nikol Pashinyan concluded. According to the Acting Prime Minister, the effective and transparent implementation of the above-mentioned program is the most important condition for attracting funds in the future.
“This is a very important issue, and in this context, I think the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, Marz administrations and community leaders have a lot to do in this respect. In fact, it turns out that 10 million euros will be spent in this very area. Specific programs will have to be submitted and the projects should be selected first of all based on the overall strategic effectiveness. All programs should go along the same logical chain to ensure the best possible final outcome,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The Government approved Armenia’s 2018 budget State support measures for the provision of housing for homeless families who suffered from the earthquake in disaster zone at the expense of state budget allocations. In particular, it is proposed to funnel these funds toward the completion of construction works of at least 44 semi-constructed houses in Lori Marz, as well as those with high readiness for semi-constructed houses.
The meeting next decided that 20,706,373 thousand drams will be allocated to regional administrations in order to provide other subventions other than those already envisaged in the state budget. The projects are aimed at capital investments in communities, in particular, construction and renovation of drinking, sewerage, irrigation water lines, and night lighting.
The Executive approved the government’s legislative initiative on the draft law On Amending the Water Code of the Republic of Armenia. The bill suggests making additions to those articles of the Code which define the concepts of “water scarcity” and “drought” in an effort to streamline the powers of competent authorities in matters concerning the announcement of water shortage.
Nikol Pashinyan instructed Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan to set up a working group that will deal with issues related to irrigation. “The task is to regain full control over the irrigation system from now on. We must have a comprehensive action plan and a roadmap all the way through the irrigation season from the first day to the last,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The government decided to grant Armenia Airways CJSC a 3-tear extension on the standing VAT deferment arrangement. The national carrier intends to make a total investment of about 6.67 billion drams, resulting in nearly 178.1 million drams in deferred VAT payment.