Interviews and press conferences

“100 Facts about New Armenia -2” - PM Nikol Pashinyan’s introductory remarks at his press conference

16.09.2019

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Dear reporters,

I am glad to see you. Our previous press conference was held on May 8, 2019. Then I started publishing 100 facts about New Armenia, and I deem this format important in terms of presenting our government’s achievements and success stories to the public at large.

I used to think that if we could present 50 more facts to the public in September, it would be a good result, but today I will release 100 more new facts.

So, let us see 100 facts about New Armenia - 2.

1. According to data for the 7 months of 2019, the real GDP growth rate in the Republic of Armenia was 6.8% compared to the same period last year. Industry grew by 8.4 percent, construction - 4.5 percent, trade turnover - 8.9 percent, services - 15.2 percent, average monthly wage - 5.9 percent.

2. In the first half of 2019, tax revenues recorded an unprecedented 25% growth, which means that we collected more taxes and duties of 152 billion drams than last year.

3. Since May 2018, 65 thousand 37 jobs have been created (growth of 12%). By the way, I have to say that this number has changed three times during the preparation of this document, because this is a work that the SRC is constantly doing, and these numbers are changing dynamically.

By the way, to make the picture complete, I would say that this number had increased to 32,000 as of September last year, then we had a slight decline in January, then 52,000 in February, and now 64,000. I mean, historically, some seasonal declines have been recorded. This is the number for now.

If we compare 65 thousand 37 registered jobs according to income tax scale, the picture is as follows: The number of employees earning up to 150 thousand drams in the mentioned index makes 11 thousand 536, the number of jobs receiving income from 150 thousand up to 2 million drams - 52 874, and the number of jobs receiving more than 2 million drams - 627. Accordingly, the segment receiving a salary of 150,000 to 2 million drams is the overwhelming majority, which is a good indicator.

According to confirmed data, 22 billion to 150 million drams were paid from May to August of this year. The average salary of the employees of this segment is about 400 thousand drams.

In total, newly registered employees have paid more than 6 billion drams in income tax during this period. I am emphasizing this to counter the assertions that this is just statistics: in fact, these people have paid extra 6 billion drams.

4. Mandatory payments made to the Military Service Insurance Fund (AMD 1000) in January-June 2019 exceeded the index of January-June 2018 by 347.8 million AMD or 9.6%.

5. In the first eight months of 2019, 76.4 million CCM coupons were issued compared to the same period last year, which is 38.5% more than the same period last year. This is 208.6 billion drams or 21.4% more than the same period of last year.

6. In January-June 2019, large taxpayers generated 511 billion AMD tax receipts from the state budget.

For comparison, in the first half of 2018, 1000 large taxpayers generated AMD 446 billion.

In other words, the payroll surplus of 1000 large taxpayers made about 14% or 64 billion AMD. At the top of the list of the 1000 largest taxpayers, most of the companies with some public interest are expected to reach 2019. In the first half of the year, the total amount of taxes paid to the state budget significantly increased compared to the same period last year.

In particular, Flesh Company paid 2.8 billion drams or 58% more tax in the first half of 2019, compared to the first half of last year, Ucom paid more than 1 billion drams or 26% more, Natali Pharm - 0.7 billion drams or 37%, Spayka - 1.4 billion drams or 117%, SAS Group - 0.9 billion drams or 82%, Max Petrol - AMD 2.2 billion or 122%, Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine - AMD 4.9 billion or 20%, Gazprom Armenia - 2.1% lrd drams or 10%, Electric Networks of Armenia - 1.3 billion or 20%.

7. As of July 2019, the number of active taxpayers in Armenia increased by 24,500 as compared with the same period last year. During the first 8 months of 2019, 20 thousand 356 new business entities were registered, including 15 thousand 614 companies, 4 thousand 653 LLCs, 89 CJSC. In the same period of the previous year, the growth of newly registered businesses was 14.4%.

8. Moody’s upgraded Armenia’s sovereign rating from B1 to Ba3. The decision is based on Moody’s estimates that coupled with long-standing macroeconomic stability, the increased diversification of economic growth in Armenia will boost Armenia’s economic resilience.

Moody’s said in a statement that real GDP growth in Armenia will remain high in the medium term. Special attention was paid to the development of the IT sector in Armenia, which is mainly engaged in research and development of high technologies and is a strong basis for a knowledge-based economy.

9. The number of tourists arriving in Armenia were impressive in the first 6 months of 2019. In particular:
The number of tourists from Germany increased by 59.5%,
China - 53.5%,
The Netherlands - 34.9%,
Switzerland - 30%,
UAE - 29.7%,
Greece - 29%,
Italy - 24.4%,
UK - 22.9%,
Japan - 22.2%,
Russia - 19%,
Sweden - 19%,
USA - 15%,
France - 13%.

Overall, we saw 12.3% growth in tourism in the first half of 2019.

According to the Central Bank estimates, this year, including August, tourists in Armenia spent more than $ 200 million more than last year, that is, $ 200 million last year.

10. In January-June 2019, the growth in the number of tourists accommodated in household hotels was 60%. In particular, in January-June, 2018, household accommodations accounted for only 20% of the total number of tourists arriving in Armenia (about 140,000 tourists), in January-June, 2019, the share of tourists accommodated in household hotels rose to 29%, i.e. more than 222 thousand tourists. Accordingly, we can note that there is also some qualitative growth in the tourism sector, which leads to additional foreign exchange inflows.
Taxes paid by businessmen living in the country have increased by 38% to about 1 billion drams as compared to the same period last year.

Taxes paid by tourism organizations increased by 53% or about 400 million drams. These figures are not just statistics, but a specific economic indicator, translated in specific currencies, in specific quantities.

11. The World Economic Forum has published the Tourism Competitiveness Report, according to which Armenia boasts an advance of 5 points and now ranks 79th, instead of 84th.

12. By the end of the 7 months of 2019, we managed to halt the fall in exports recorded at the beginning of the year and to record a 3% increase in exports.

The tendencies at the beginning of the year were related to the transformation processes of the Armenian economy. At the same time, in July there was a 19% increase in export. In the first seven months, exports of medium-tech products increased by 40.9 percent and were the main driving force of exports, while exports of high-tech products increased by 34.4 percent.

Jewelry exports increased by 58 percent, exports of wines by 41 percent, chocolate exports - by 35.1 percent, exports of fresh fish - by 23.6 percent, exports of locally produced clothing - by 17 percent, exports of unprocessed vegetable products - 15.6 percent, brandy, rum, vodka and liquor exports rose by 12.3 percent, water exports - 10 percent. Overall, exports proved USD 42.5 million up over the past seven months.

13. During the first 8 months of 2019, the following changes were recorded in agriculture: greenhouse areas increased by 48% or 426.2 hectares, drip irrigation - 56% or 1004 hectares. Hail-proof land areas have almost doubled, increasing by 94.5% or 182.2 hectares, refrigerator capacity increased by 26% or 15.1 thousand tons.

I would like to point out that there has been a tremendous increase in the exports of a number of commodities produced in hothouses or in non-traditional agricultural conditions as compared to last year. In particular, cucumber exports grew 174 percent, mushroom exports - 202 percent, strawberry exports - 184 percent.

14. Mortgage loans provided in January-July, 2019 totaled 84.5 billion drams, exceeding 90.5% the figures of the previous year.

15. As compared to the same period last year, real estate transactions increased 17.1% in July, 2019. In the meantime, industrial real estate transactions rose by 11.7%. Note that the growth was recorded in the provinces and not in Yerevan.

16. For the first time since 2015, we witnessed a downward trend in external public debt. As of June 2019, Armenia’s foreign debt had declined by USD 120 million or 2.1% over the past 15 months.

17. By late August, 2019, the international reserves of the Republic of Armenia totaled about USD 2.3 billion, an increase of about USD 230 million over the same period last year. Among the factors contributing to the growth in the mentioned period is the purchase of foreign currency by the Central Bank of Armenia equivalent to about USD 351 million as a result of excess foreign currency flows in the domestic market. The current level of reserves is the highest since 2013.

In fact, however, today we have historically the highest level of international reserves since The index is related to the issuance of Eurobonds when we have brought in a large amount of currency and recorded it in our reserve.
As we are going to launch a new issue of Eurobonds, we will naturally boast the highest level of de jure international reserves. At this point, de facto we have the highest ever stock of international reserves.

18. The scale of the shadow economy was significantly curbed owing to improved tax administration in 2018-2019. The increase in the tax / GDP ratio is expected to increase by 1.3-1.5 percentage points to 22.3-22.5 percent in 2019.

Even by refining this year’s exceptional tax collection factors (such as tax rates change, unprecedented car imports, and the like), one can see that the shadow economy in GDP will be down by more than 3 percentage points. This is just an opportunity for us to repay our former debts, increase capital investment, and move on to a gradual increase in salaries and pensions.

Here, I would like to talk about another fact: the International Monetary Fund has stated in its recommendations that it would be quite a good result for the Republic of Armenia, if the Government could boost its tax / GDP ratio by 0.3% annually. In 2019 alone, we will increase the tax / GDP ratio by 1.3 to 1.5 percent, that is, at a 4 times higher rate.

19. Inflation is kept down to a manageable level and, most importantly, it is less volatile. In January-July, 2019, the average inflation was 1.9%, while the 12-month inflation rate was 1.7% in July. All this has been ensured by continued increase in confidence in our national currency in recent times, which is very important as reflected in the declining inflationary expectations of households.

According to surveys conducted by the CBA, almost all respondents (95%) expect that price stability will be maintained in the future (with a horizon of 1-5 years), which is very important for macroeconomic stability. This means that households and organizations can better plan their economic activities and savings and investments.

The increased confidence in the national currency is also reflected in the continued decline in the level of dollarization, which has fallen by 4 percentage points over the past year to 48.6% in July. This means that the majority of Armenians - 51.4 percent - prefer to keep their money in banks in drams, which is very important, as it reduces the currency risks for businesses and contributes to further improving the stability of the financial system.

20. The Law on Amendments and Addenda to the RA Tax Code was adopted as a result of large-scale and participatory discussions, as a result of which:
- Turnover tax threshold was set at AMD 115 million instead of 58.35 million, i.e. raised again;
- Micro-businesses with annual turnover of up to 24 million AMD are exempt from taxation; some have already been exempted as they transited to family entrepreneurship; others will be exempted on January 1;
- In case of sale of the second car acquired in the same year in case of a natural person, instead of 20% of tax calculated on income, a new rule is established if the car is alienated within 365 days after acquisition, 1% of income tax is charged, but not less than 1 horsepower 150 AMD. In case of alienation 365 days after the acquisition date, no tax will be charged. That is to say, the logic here is that if it is obviously a business purpose for a person to buy and sell a second car, the tax is reduced, but tax is levied, and if not for business, tax is not levied at all.
- Road tax set for trucks registered in Armenia abolished,
- The activity of providing taxi services by natural persons who are not persons is exempt from state duty;
- Real estate purchase and sale transactions between individuals are exempt from income tax;
- A fixed income tax rate of 23% has been set, as a result of which the salaries of about 200,000 people will rise from January 1, 2020. That is to say, the wages will not rise formally, but as taxes go down, the wages of 200,000 people will rise. By the way, I would say that many servicemen whose salaries have now gone up once will increase once again as a result of this change on January 1, depending on their salaries, of course. And a very important change for businesses: the profit tax is down by 2%, from 20% to 18%.

21. The number of newly created technology companies applying for tax privileges has reached 159, of which 113 have been granted tax privileges. The owners of 20% of companies are repatriates from France, the USA, Russia, the Netherlands and other countries.

It is envisaged to create 1000-1200 jobs by 2022, with an average salary of 500,000 AMD. Tax exemption implies a tax deduction and a flat 10% income tax on employees’ salaries. This is our startup support program.

22. In January-August, 2018, the government granted 12 VAT deferral facilities to a total of 34.9 billion drams, generating 813 new jobs.

19 investment programs have been granted exemption of customs duties, which imply cumulative investments of 44.6 billion drams and 1271 jobs.

In January-August, 2019, the government granted VAT deferral to 9 investment programs, which implied a total investment of about 95.5 billion drams and 969 jobs, 40 tax exemptions to 153 billion drams and 2378 jobs. Thus, the growth of investments under two programs stands at 212% with an expected 60.6% increase in employment (1263 jobs).

23. The government has made an unprecedented economic decision: 2835 companies have value added tax debit balances that arose before 2017 July 1. These are the sums that the state owes its debt on VAT to the businessmen, and that debt, in fact, everybody knew was written on the ice, that is, they even drew a line in the law so that everyone would understand that they owe it.

The government has made a decision to return the debit balance of about 56 billion drams to businesses, which will begin in practice after the law is passed by the National Assembly. The suggestion is that businessmen have invested the money they have long hoped for in our economy. This is, in fact, a more than $ 100 million state injection into an economy that has no precedent in our country's history.

You know, many of you have written about it for many years that we had a problem of collecting tax overpayments in the country, that is, when a person had a tax liability of 50 drams, we told him no, because we had a problem collecting 80 drams. ten:

Now that our government was formed last year, the state owed businessmen 133 billion drams in debt, and we have paid 124 billion drams of transitional overpayment since May last year. So, how did we pay off our debts? This person has a current tax, we told him, you need not pay those taxes because you have overpayments here, and we have returned 124 billion drams to the businesses. Now, as a result of these two decisions, we have made a direct state investment of approximately 500 million drams in the economy.

24. In May-August, 2019, 141 start-ups in the regions of Armenia participated in SME DNC entrepreneurship courses, 104 business programs were presented, 74 of which will be available through SME DNC financial support of up to AMD 5 million. SME DNC of Armenia has provided loan guarantees of AMD 138.6 mln to 35 start-up entrepreneurs within the framework of financial support programs, and financing of another 40 start-up entrepreneurs is currently underway. And this is for people who say you say work, work, how to work, we have no money, no pledge, and so on. This is also the way for these people to formulate a business idea, undergo training in SME DNC and other educational programs, get credit guarantees, that is, the state guarantees that this person, yes, has an idea and already has skills to implement that idea, get a state-guaranteed loan, and implement a business plan.

25. Interest rates on loans granted during January-July, 2019, have decreased as compared to the same period of the last year:
The weighted average interest rate on mortgage loans decreased by 0.2 percentage points;
Interest rates on agricultural loans decreased by 0.7 percentage points;
Interest rates on consumer loans fell by 0.3 percentage points.

26. The government approved 23.2 billion AMD subsidy programs to be implemented in the regions during 2019. The peculiarity of the subsidy programs is that they are co-financed by the communities and the government.

In this case, 12.9 billion is provided by the government and 10.3 billion by the communities. Making these subsidies is very important in that the communities themselves are motivated to increase their domestic income. The public, knowing that these programs are also being paid for, has a more zealous public oversight over quality. Accordingly, under these programs:
234 kilometers of community streets will be repaired or upgraded,
Construction or repair of water supply and sanitation systems in 58 settlements;
In 37 settlements irrigation systems will be built or repaired,
42 kindergartens will be built or renovated;
Energy saving lighting systems will be launched in 58 settlements,
53 public buildings will be built or repaired;
15 settlements will be built or repaired;
Anti-hail systems will be acquired in 23 settlements,
In 24 settlements will be built or refurbished parks, squares, gardens.

27. A decision was made to move the car customs office to Gyumri. The government has allocated the necessary funds and 21.5 hectares of land for this purpose. The customs office is expected to start operating as early as in October.

28. 62.7 kilometer-long roads are completed under the road rehabilitation program; 307 kilometer-long road sections are under construction at this point of time. Our pledge to repair 330 kilometer-long roads will be fulfilled by this yearend.

This figure does not include the roads repaired in Yerevan, Gyumri and other communities. We are stating only republican and interstate roads. Extensive work has also been done in individual communities. In Yerevan, for example, 70 km of roads have been repaired this year.

I would like to make one comment on this point. Today, in Armenia, as much as there is a potential for road construction, it is all busy and secured. I have a little reservation about this point. We are constantly in debate with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, but the fact is that we have as much road-building capacity in Armenia today as we have provided them with work and work.

We have evidence that when we are bidding for a road construction, no company is participating in the bidding, because this year they have done so much work and it is still a question of whether they will be able to do the job or not. That is, we have no funding problem, and as we have said, we are planning to build at least 500km of roads next year.

But my prediction is as follows: I hope that our compatriots, such as the road builders operating abroad, will respond to our message and will take part in Armenian tenders, especially as we are now preparing for a change in government decisions to ensure that such companies as may not provide quality guarantees or unable to submit such guarantees, could not participate in competitions.

29. The Government has made an unprecedented decision to introduce the practice of conducting major Independence Day events in the regions. September 21 will be celebrated at the state level in Gyumri this year; next year - in another province and so on.

30. An important issue has been resolved in Echmiadzin, namely the lack of municipal transport that was raised for many years. The issue was resolved through active cooperation with the French Embassy in Armenia and effective negotiations with the French city of Nice.

There are already 6 IRISBUS and RENAULT buses donated by the city of Nice to Echmiadzin and the process of obtaining a license for domestic passenger transport is underway. On the eve of the Echmiadzin city day, the residents will have a solution to the problem of public transport they have faced for many years.

31. Defense spending in 2019 increased by 26% to 313.2 billion drams against last year’s 247.8 billion drams.

32. The Government of the Republic of Armenia has provided additional funding of AMD 2.1 billion to improve the combat readiness of our troops, including the supply of drinking water for combat positions. In June-August, 2019, the number of solar-powered combat positions increased by about 5%. The number of weapons and military equipment, including firearms, has increased by 5-10%. The positions of our troops have been fortified in 5 sectors at the contact line. The number of modern video surveillance devices (daytime, thermal and combined cameras) has increased by about 10%. By the end of the year, 30-35% of combat positions will be provided with potable water.

33. State funding for military industry will increase by 114 percent in 2020.

34. A new system of catering for conscripts has been launched. Accordingly, the organization of food for the soldiers has been outsourced to 6 private companies, as a result of which the soldiers are provided with high quality food. 2019 As of September, the number of military units that passed the new system was 16. 2020 In the third quarter, this system will operate in all major military units of Armenia.

35. Under the Government Decree of June 1, 2019, the rise in monthly remuneration of Armenian servicemen shall be as follows:
- Regiment commander - 22,000 AMD, 4.6%.
- Deputy regiment commander - 51 thousand drams, 12.7%.
- Battalion commander - 88 thousand drams, 23%.
- Company commander - AMD 97 thousand, 32.6%.
- Platoon commander - 72 thousand drams, 26.2%.
- Senior non-commissioned officer - 38,000 AMD, 18%.
- Rank-and-file contract soldier - 23 thousand drams, 13.7%.
- Sergeant in contract service (training completed) - 49 thousand AMD, 22%.

The above figures represent net wages left after income tax payment. That is to say, this is the amount of money people will spend on their particular month each month. Depending on the nature of service, title, these numbers may increase or decrease slightly. These numbers depend on the nature of the service. Moreover, additions will be significant and tangible, depending on the nature of the service, and deductions depending on the nature of the service will be non-significant.

36. A government decree has been passed to increase the amounts paid to army conscripts by AMD 1000-2000 as of July, 2019.

By the way, regarding the previous paragraph, we had 4 military units, where due to their status and some regulatory confusion, salaries were not raised; some will be raised by the order of the Minister of Defense, others will be raised by government decree. The salaries so raised will be calculated back to June 1, 2019, that is what they were supposed to receive in this row from June 1 and because of these legal nuances, will be calculated from June 1, and they will get their 3 months’ pay at once. For some, that decision was made, the other part is in progress.

37. The Government adopted a decision granting commissioned and non-commissioned senior officers the opportunity to get preferential mortgage loans from January 1. They will thereby be able to purchase an apartment from the primary market at an actual 0% interest rate, from the secondary market - at a maximum 9% interest rate, of which 3% will be subsidized from the state budget. In both cases, the 10% down payment on the apartment will be paid from the state budget.

38. After improvements made to the quality of medical preventive measures, as well as to sanitary and anti-epidemic measures in the Armed Forces, applications to medical facilities decreased by 12.7% as compared to the same period last year and the illness-caused loss of working days - by 21.6%.

As a matter of fact, recurrent prophylactic work shall be done in a way to reduce the incidence of servicemen’s sickness.

39. Around 15% of compulsory military service was drafted during the 2019 summer conscription, in addition to the deferral of law students to general education institutions last year as a result of a change in law this year to secondary vocational education institutions. about 400 students.

40. For the citizens who have signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia within the framework of the “I have the Honor” program, the term of contractual service is defined as 2 years 3 months instead of the previous 3 years, which will help enhance the program’s attractiveness.

41. According to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, the period of combat duty at the contact line will be doubled.

42. Armenian doctors on mission in Syria have been providing medical care to 4870 people since February, including 394 surgical interventions. Large-scale mine-sweeping operations have been carried out in Syria.

43. Since September 1, 2019, the salary of 38 thousand teachers has increased by 10%. From October 1 the salaries of firefighters, forest rangers and forest chiefs will increase. Since June 1 the salaries of the employees of Electricity System Operator CJSC have been increased by an average of 15%.

44. Starting January 1, 2020, the average amount of pensions will increase by 10 percent.

45. Participants of the Great Patriotic War, participants of the Leningrad blockade during the war, and former juvenile prisoners of the fascist concentration camps will receive a monthly honorary payment of 100,000 drams from August 1, 2019 instead of 50,000 drams. The decision affects some 397 people.

46. The Government of Armenia will provide Artsakh with approximately 2.9 billion drams in support of housing issues for Defense Army servicemen. That is, we will solve the pensioners’ housing problems in Artsakh. But we have bad news here, too. To be honest, since I posted this decision on my Facebook page, there has been a sharp rise in apartment prices in Stepanakert. Whether the news is good or bad, in any case we have undertaken an obligation, and we must fulfill.

47. The specialists of the Regional Employment Centers contacted about 12,000 employers and submitted 7,488 vacancies. 5,912 job seekers were recruited through the centers, 1,008 of them through state employment programs. 65.7% of the job seekers are women, 31% are young people aged 16-29, and 1.8% are people with disabilities. Seasonal agricultural workers will no longer be deprived of benefits. As a result, Artfood alone has already hired 40 employees in the benefit system.

48. Government approves a decision to provide assistance to the victims of the March 1 to 2 events in Yerevan. The form of assistance is defined as financial assistance to the legal successor of the deceased (deceased) 30 million drams; 15 million drams in case of a grave damage to health, and 5 million for medium-gravity damage.

49. Formerly provided housing grants to 37 servicemen included in the housing registry have been provided with gratuitous property rights through donations. The process of providing 21 more apartments is underway.

50. Construction works on half-built residential houses for 44 families left homeless as a result of the earthquake are underway in the rural areas of Lori marz, to be completed by 2019. At the end of the year, AMD 460 million was allocated. Earthquake in Lori, Shirak and Aragatsotn marzes to solve housing problems for 61 families in 2019 The budget allocated 560 million drams.

The results of the documentation of more than 7,000 non-core buildings constructed / installed in earthquake zone settlements were summarized, and a package of recommendations was developed. 2020 to provide housing for 457 families affected by earthquake 3 billion drams will be allocated. Compared to the average statistics of recent years, this amount has been 6-fold.

Today, as part of this program, I participated in the opening of several houses in the Lori region in the morning. We allocate this 3 billion drams to cover the housing needs of the 457 families whose state commitment is currently de jure.

That is to say, at this point the state turns out to have an outstanding duty to only 457 families, if we approach the problem de jure.

We are allocating 3 billion and we have to figure out whether or not we will be able to solve all 457 of those 3 billion. If it turns out that 3 billion is not enough, we will allocate funds again because there is no problem in the state budget of Armenia.

51. Housing problems of 100 families have been resolved by means of donation of dormitories. About 170 families have resettled in Yerevan, who used to live in emergency class 4 buildings. The program is to be continued.

52. 4800 orphaned and underprivileged children aged 7-13 have benefited from a summer vacation in 3 shifts under the Summer Vacation Organization program.

53. The Government has approved a bill to raise the minimum wage threshold from 55,000 drams to 68,000 drams, with 45,000 people working in the private sector and 35,000 in the public sector.

54. The Teghut mine has been restarted since July, providing jobs for high-quality specialists in the marz and concurrently ordering additional research on tailings dam strength. At present 940 employees are employed in the enterprise, and 40 more will be hired soon. Remember that during the pre-election rally in Lori I promised that the Teghut mine would be reopened and people would have jobs.

55. The salary of the staff of kindergartens in Yerevan city has increased by 20%. 6500 square meters of previously alienated kindergartens have been returned to communities, thanks to which over 1,000 children can now attend the kindergarten.

You know what kindergarten queues are in Yerevan and here 6500 square meters of land has been returned. A number of criminal cases have been launched, involving privatization of kindergartens. Many more facilities are going to be returned to children.

56. In the healthcare sector, the shade has been substantially reduced; In the first 7 months of this year, the turnover of medical facilities (public and private) increased by 13.7 billion drams (14%) compared to the same period of last year, and the declared median salary increased by 30,000 drams (17%).

57. As of this July 1, approximately 400 drugs have been provided free of charge to beneficiary families with 30.01 points or more. About 200,000 beneficiaries will benefit from this privilege. These drugs are used for a number of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, ischemic heart disease.

58. Hospital medical care and services for children under the age of 18 have been fully implemented from July as part of the state order. Since 2019, the free provision of dental services for 0-7 and socially vulnerable children under 18 has been restored. There has been a drastic increase in the treatment of malignant neoplasms: 979 surgeries were performed as part of the state order in 2018, with 2301 such surgeries performed in 2019. The surgeries were free of charge for our citizens.

59. The scope of free medical care program beneficiaries in the field of state-of-the-art medical services and state-of-the-art medical technology has been expanded to include 1st and 2nd degree invalids, family members of conscripts.

If parents have a heart problem, they will be operated on mediating state funds - family members of combatants, family members of killed soldiers. The number of beneficiaries is about 300,000. 2019 In the first 7 months, 316 (32%) more lives were saved through the State Life Stent Program.

60. On the other hand, market prices for heart stenting continue to decline. As of September, 2019, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia can have a stent installed with only 800 thousand drams. In May, 2018, no less than AMD 1.1 million was charged for a stent in the Republic of Armenia.

Thanks to the fall in prices, as well as large-scale state-supported programs, our citizens will no longer leave for neighboring Georgia to undergo heart surgeries.

61. On July 22, 2019, the Department of Invasive Cardiology - Interventional Cardiology - Interventional Radiology has opened at Vanadzor Medical Center CJSC. 30 patients have been stented and 50 coronographs – performed ever since.

62. In line with a government decision, 523 million drams was allocated to general education schools and sports schools.

Whereas for the whole of 2012-2018 only 420 million AMD was allocated from the state budget for this purpose, ie 420 million AMD was allocated during the 6 years, we only allocated 523 million AMD this year as a result of fundraising.

63. As of September 2019, 36 nurseries and kindergartens have been put into operation nationwide, which will be attended by about 1250 children. 162 schools are being repaired in the republic this year.

64. The government has allocated more than 834 million drams to the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises for the creation of engineering laboratories in 284 schools.

65. More than 1 billion AMD has been allocated for the creation of the Interdisciplinary Data Center, the acquisition of scientific equipment and the capital investment in the field of culture. That is to say, now that I have come into contact with scientific circles, I hope they will affirm that in Armenia, at least, so much state funding has never been allocated to acquiring scientific equipment in the visible past.

66. The admission of about 13,000 children attending primary school was carried out through the electronic system for registering students to school. Implementation of the program stems from both the need for easier, systematic, transparent, accessible, human factor entry into the general education institution, the minimization of the burden on some schools, and the need to neutralize corruption risks. As a result, this year the number of overcrowded or overcrowded first-grade schools has dropped by 50%. I would like to remind you that when this software was launched, a new technical tool, a lot of noise was raised. Naturally, anything you start from the beginning until it gets to the topic doesn't work a bit.

Of course, some officials also understood that this would deprive them of their corrupt earnings, and there was a lot of noise, but the result is obvious.

67. In order to relieve the burden on students’ bags, to maintain health in 2019, 11 names used in grades 2 through 4 and 38 names in grades 5 through 12 were unloaded by dividing textbooks into 1 and Part 2:

For many years this has also been a constant issue raised by parents in Armenia, a properly voiced issue, and the issue has been resolved. We will now see if it is fully resolved or not, if it turns out that not entirely, we will continue.

68. New specialties are being introduced in colleges as a result of cooperation between the Ministry of Education and various business entities. For example, Tavush Regional State College, Ijevan Wine, Brandy and Berdavan wineries have signed memorandums of understanding for the introduction of a new profession - winemaking and juice production. This is also a very important project.

For example, when I presented the growth of strawberry exports, I do not know whether you recorded it or not, but in Tsakhkadzor, a Kotayk region, during a meeting with businessmen, one of the major exporters said that he now has a specialist problem. He now has to bring a specialist from Europe, pay a huge monthly salary to be able to produce and export strawberries in Armenia. And programs of this kind are very important for the specialists in Armenia to be trained very quickly, which will benefit both the entrepreneur and the Republic of Armenia.

69. In the first half of 2019, museum attendance increased by 31% in Armenia. Armenian museums had 463 thousand 908 visitors in the first half of 2018, and 607,779 visitors in the first half of 2019.

70. Attendance of Armenian theaters increased by 41% in the first half of 2019. There were 113,832 people attending theaters in the same period last year, while the number of citizens attending the theater rose to 160 thousand 423 in the first half of 2019.

I wish to highlight the state program through which we intend to provide school, concert and museum visits once a year for Armenian schoolchildren.
71. The project for the construction of small football stadiums in the regions of Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik, Tavush and Shirak has been launched this year. The Armenian Football Federation has already completed the construction of 8 small playgrounds, by the end of September they will reach 26, and by the end of the year we will have at least 51 small playgrounds. In the coming years, such a program will be implemented in other regions of Armenia as well.

72. As of 2019, inspections of relevant metal mines, forestry and specially protected areas, small hydroelectric power plants and other areas - environmental inspections - 882 violations recorded, 432 administrative decisions taken, 432 administrative decisions taken; 585 records of compensation, 227 cases were sent to law enforcement agencies, and the current cases were transferred to the second half of the year.

Monitoring and control of environmental damage amounting to AMD 1,661,206,720 was calculated and administrative fines of AMD 38,800,000 were applied in 2019. AMD 429,094,016 AMD has already been transferred to the state budget this year.

73. 2019 In June-July, only 204 written warnings were issued to the users of arrears as a result of which about 157 million dram-worth payments were made to the state budget by the business entities, which will be kept as reclamation security.

74. More severe punishments were imposed in the forest areas, as well as cutting down forbidden trees and destroying vegetation, imposing a fine of up to 4 million drams, and, in some cases, imprisonment for previously unused sentences of 3-8 years. This is in line with the amendments to the Criminal Code.

75. A pilot program for forest protection through modern technologies has been launched, with 10 sensor controls installed in the Stepanavan forestry area, which can monitor areas within a radius of 2-10 km depending on the forest landscape. We have seen this device right here in the center, are electronic devices installed in the woods on the trees, and this sensor sends the relevant information to the competent authority within 2-10 km radius.

76. As of September 2019, the water discharge from Lake Sevan for irrigation purposes was 53 million m3 less than last year, and the Arpa-Sevan water pipeline transferred 17 million m3 more water to Sevan. As of this day last year, the level of Lake Sevan has increased by 4 cm. I announced on Saturday that it had increased by 3cm. This means that the water reserves of Lake Sevan are more than 102 million m3 as compared to the previous year.

77. A valve regime on 13 deep wells was implemented in the Ararat Valley, saving approximately 880 l / s of water. That is a pretty high figure.

78. Yerevan’s municipal budget receipts and expenses increased by 10 billion drams in 2019, or 50% as compared to 2018. The 10% revenue growth plan for 2019 is already overdue by 3% in August, meaning they had planned to increase it by 10%, and 3% over the planned one.

Hundreds of leases were found, which were concluded at unreasonably low prices. They are repossessed, and the lease payments are reviewed accordingly.

79. A municipal waste disposal and sanitation facility has been established in the Municipality of Yerevan, which is staffed by more than 50 garbage trucks, several dozens of snow removal, sprinkler and vacuum cleaners.

For at least 30 years, the Yerevan community has not acquired such a scale and type of equipment, meaning that this scale has not been acquired in Yerevan since independence. There are currently more than 600 employees with average and high salaries in the institution. A modern station is being built for the institution, where employees will be provided with rest rooms, bathrooms, dining room and more.

On this occasion, I would like to say that I find the behavior of some forces in Yerevan to be rubbish, so to speak, throughout the crisis. It is just a shameful behavior, and instead of revealing what the corruption deals were all about, the sword and the numbers have fallen behind the mayor who took office six months ago who has resolved this issue in two months, and now I consider that There is no doubt that the level of garbage collection in Yerevan will be unprecedented, in the history of Armenia the city of Yerevan will not have high-level garbage collection, and I can now confidently claim that. And why was it shameful that they thought it was a very serious topic of political resuscitation for them, not to mention that the subject of that garbage would eventually go to another corruption case, there is a certain chance that it would come.

80. 500 million drams has been allocated from the Yerevan city budget for the implementation of the “public budget” idea. That is, citizens can register on the ActiveCitizen.am e-platform and offer their city development plans. The winning projects through e-voting will be implemented within the framework of this amount of 500 million drams. ActiveCitizen.am will also be used as an electronic platform for city referendums. This is, in essence, a step towards the pre-election promise of direct democracy.

81. The number of service brigades has now increased to 15 in Yerevan, as well as 14 in the provinces in order to provide faster and better quality services to the population in the Emergency Medical Program. AMD 90 million has been allocated from the Yerevan community budget for the renovation of emergency departments.

The substations have not been repaired for about 30 years. An electronic registration system has been introduced in 13 polyclinics in Yerevan. It allows beneficiaries to register with their GP without visiting the polyclinic.

82. The ANCA for stray animals was established in Yerevan, thus terminating the unacceptable practice of dog slaughter. Stray animals are numbered, sterilized, and some are taken care of. A station is being built for ADLP, which will be provided with modern facilities.

83. 28 streets in Yerevan are lit by energy-saving lamps, with wires being transported under the ground. The process of upgrading the lighting of Davtashen, Nubarashen, Halabyan, Kievyan streets (installation of energy saving lamps) is underway.

The modernization of the lighting of Babajanyan, Shirak streets and Kievyan bridge is over. The illumination of more than 70 unregulated pedestrian crossings is improved for safety reasons. For the same purposes, 16 pedestrian crossings are fitted with adjustable traffic lights.

Design work on the Saralanj section, as well as the 8 hectares of forested area in Silikyan district and 8 hectares in Nubarashen are nearing completion. Alienated or distorted gardens are returned to the city step by step: Opera House, Arabkir (Molokani) Garden, Ring Garden, etc.

84. The Department of Corruption Crimes and Offences against Economic Activity of the Office of the Prosecutor-General has investigated and summarized the damage caused to the Treasury and its recovery as of May 1 to August 31, 2019. Accordingly, the damage caused to the state in 219 criminal cases amounted to 25.7 billion drams, of which 8.9 billion drams was restored, 9.4 billion drams is guaranteed by the Criminal Procedure Toolkit (property arrest). 2018 May to 2019 As of August 31, 1665 criminal cases were initiated, the damage caused amounted to 115 billion drams, 54 billion of which have already been recovered. You see this dynamic, I have said many times that this dynamic is not satisfying or satisfying for me, but we are recording what is there and we need to work on this.
85. Since April 2019, there have been 85 administrative breaches recorded, based on 179 videos posted by citizens on Facebook. This is in order for us to record that this mechanism that citizens can also control traffic safety has begun to work. Of course, some legislative changes are still needed to further strengthen this mechanism.

86. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs saved 3.8 billion drams in pensions and benefits in the first half of 2019. This is the result of a consistent fight against corruption and increased efficiency in these areas. The savings will be used to fund other long-standing social security programs. That is, the amount of pensions, allowances, etc., is about 3.8 billion drams.

87. By this yearend, the Real Estate Cadastre Committee will have returned some 1 billion drams to the state budget, which exceeds the total amount of the previous five years and constitutes about 25% of the system's annual budget. In 2019, the number of cars in the Cadastre system decreased by 74% to 60% in 2018, reaching 30, and in 2018-2019 petrol savings will be 140 thousand. per liter, which makes about 50 million drams, that is, the cost is 66% less than planned. As of October 2019, 547 (60%) of 893 employees will be promoted based on the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) as a result of a quantitative and qualitative analysis.

88. There is one female minister in the government, 12 female deputy ministers. Two of the 3 deputies of the Prime Minister’s Staff are women. One of the SRC Deputy Chairpersons is a woman, and one of the Deputy Chairpersons of the Urban Development Committee is a woman. In addition, women head the Civil Aviation Committee, the Social Security Service, and the Tourism Committee.

The Police Chief of Staff, the Secretaries-General of the Ministry of High-Tech Industry, the Cadastre Committee, and EAR are women. Our government outperforms all previous Armenian governments in terms of women’s involvement. Needless to say, a female candidate was also recently elected member of the Central Bank Board

89. The composition of the High Judicial Council has been substantially upgraded, with the new chairman of the FSC elected. It was decided to hold all the sessions of the PRC, which are not covered by law, openly. According to the arrangement with the National Assembly, the PRB representative will participate in the sessions of the NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs, which will significantly contribute to the development of the system of evaluation of the impact of legislative acts.

90. 2019 On May 21, 2013, the single online platform for launching the website www.azdararir.am was launched. The alert may report corruption anonymously. If there are grounds for verifying the report, the Prosecutor General's Office sends the report in a documented form to the body conducting investigative activities. During this period, 104 alarms were implemented through the platform, 30% of which were checked, and 23% of the cases were prosecuted.

91. The Government has approved a draft amendment to the Criminal Code that would criminalize the creation, management, commissioning or retention of a criminal subculture, participation in, or involvement in, the criminal subculture group, Apply to the person with the highest status of rank. These crimes are punishable by 2-12 years in prison.

92. As from January 1, 2020, tariffs for roaming services provided by operators in Artsakh and Armenia will be reduced until January 1, 2021. As a result, from January 1, 2020, tariffs for calls to Artsakh will be reduced by about 25%, then decrease to 30% in the mentioned period,
- Call rates from Artsakh - up to 40%, then up to 45%,
- data transfer and internet access prices - up to 50% and then up to 65%;
- short sms messages - about 65%, then up to 75%.

From August 1 the tariffs for outgoing and incoming calls have been reduced by Beeline and Ucom companies, instead of the tariff of 45 AMD the corresponding tariff for outgoing calls is 38 AMD, 25 AMD for incoming calls and 60 AMD for SMS. instead of 40 AMD. The ultimate goal of this process is to have a unified price system in Artsakh and Armenia.

93. The RA Government-funded elections to the local self-government in Artsakh were conducted by the Union of Informed Citizens and Transparency International, which significantly increased people’s trust in the elections.

I wish to quote the assessment of the Union of Informed Citizens who conducted an observation mission in the elections of the local self-government of Artsakh. “We have not registered violent violations. Violations were not of a supervisory nature but of a nature of ignorance. All the violations recorded together did not affect the outcome of the elections. We can clearly state that voters have had all the legal means and opportunities to exercise their right to vote. There was no attempt to falsify the results in any of the polling stations we monitored.”

94. On August 5, 2019, an unprecedented rally was held in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh, during which I presented the conceptual idea of pan-Armenianism.

95. Leonid Azgaldyan, the author of the famous phrase “Artsakh is Armenia, and that’s all” was awarded the title of Hero of Artsakh by the mediation of the Armenian authorities.

96. In the first half of 2019, the outbound border crossings decreased by 32 times or 96.9% in Armenia.

97. EU assistance to Armenia increased by EUR 25 million under the Annual Action Plan for 2019.

98. An accelerator was commissioned at the Institute of Physics following 17 year-long preparations.

99. Armavtochan Directorate SNCO, which runs the only state-owned lab in Armenia, has acquired 51 units of Italian state-of-the-art equipment for its laboratory to improve the quality of road construction in Armenia.

100. 280 school-leavers from 23 border villages saw their Last Bell party at the Kond Compound of Government Houses. Silva Hakobyan, Sona Shahgeldyan, Eric, Mihran Tsarukyan, Aram MP3, Sevak Amroyan, Nare Gevorgyan, Detk band, DJ Smoke performed for the graduates. Note that a similar event was also held last year.

On Anna Hakobyan’s initiative, the Prime Minister’s Fund financed Yerevan tours for over 700 schoolchildren aged 9-13. The tours covered amusement parks, parks and museums

On September 1 this year, Anna and I visited schoolchildren in Vahan village of Tavush Marz.

I mentioned this as the 100th fact about the government’s activities to show our special attitude towards border villages and that attitude will continue.

In fact, the publication of 100 facts took a little longer than anticipated. I hope that before every press conference we will have facts to present to our public.

We have chosen the format of 100 facts, and with those who participated in the preparative work, we decided to reduce the number of items to fit into the proposed format of 100 facts.

With these facts we wanted to reflect on what is happening in the Republic of Armenia. The results will be more tangible and visible month after month. Thank you. Now we can proceed to your questions.
 

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