Nikol Pashinyan: “The country’s two core energy networks should not be run by the same economic entity”
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister touched upon a number of issues, including the agreement reached with Renco. “Ten days ago, I had a meeting with Renco’s representatives who are going to start the construction of a thermal power plant in Armenia. Under the arrangement, the Ministry of Justice should deal with the matter. Now we have specific concerns due to the fact that the Government has not so far provided conclusions on this issue, and it appears that we are falling short of our commitments,” the Prime Minister said, addressing Minister of Justice Artak Zeynalyan.
The Minister advised that he had had several formal meetings with Renco’s representatives. “The contract has been translated into Armenian and was put into circulation, several times a consultation was held with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. We have met with the experts of various committees and we are waiting for the Ministry's expert opinion on this agreement,” Artak Zeynalyan noted, adding that the findings will be provided this Monday.
The Prime Minister next referred to the management of High Voltage Electric Networks: “We believe that the country’s two core energy networks should not be run by the same economic entity. We need to make a decision in the near future on the method of management of Armenia’s electricity networks. We have to decide whether it will be governed by the government or a private manager. Today, we can clearly state that we must rule out the involvement in the privatization or management process of any individual or company associated with the authorities, or any offshore company. The process should be conducted in a transparent manner mediating open public tenders,” the Premier emphasized.
Nikol Pashinyan asked Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan about the construction of the North-South Road Corridor. The Deputy Prime Minister said one of the proposed solutions implies suspending the contract with that company. “Meanwhile, I do not think that it is an effective solution since there is a corruption issue there. A probe needs to be launched in order to get a comprehensive view of the problem at hand,” Tigran Avinyan said.
The Executive approved the Government Program. Among many other priorities, the program makes reference to the preparations for extraordinary parliamentary elections. The Government prioritizes the holding of snap elections that will be truly free, fair, transparent and democratic. The program states the need to give up the rating system and switch over to a full proportional system in order to form a new, realistic picture of electoral lists that will be updated automatically in the future.
The Government decided to ask the Parliament Speaker to convene an extraordinary National Assembly sitting on June 7, at 11:00. The agenda features the presentation of the Government Program.
The Cabinet approved a list of measures to enhance the efficiency of the Recultivation Fund of Armenia. The decision provides for the rehabilitation of such areas of farmland as have suffered due to mining operations at the expense of the Authorized Entity’s extra-budgetary account. Accordingly, it is proposed to amend the legislation in order to ensure adequate level of contributions by mining companies to the environmental protection fund.
The Government made a relevant decision to expand the scope of those citizens engaged in research and education (students) who have significant achievements in this field and may be granted a deferment from compulsory military service.
The decision lowers the threshold of military service deferment for specific educational programs (from 70 to 60 points for Master’s Degree, and from 80 to 65 points for the post-graduate program). The Higher Qualification Committee’s magazines have been put on the list of eligible scientific journals. The proposed amendments tend to allow the citizens with significant achievements in the field of science and education to continue their scientific activities.