Government set to raise the amount of lump-sum childbirth benefits
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The Cabinet first discussed an amendment to standing decision “On granting lump-sum childbirth benefits and determining the size and procedure for the provision of such benefits.” The amendment provides social incentives for such families as may be willing to have a second child. Under the applicable procedure, AMD 50,000 is provided for the birth of first and second children, 1 million drams - for the birth of third or fourth children, and 1 million 500 thousand drams – for the birth of a fifth and each subsequent child. That is, the amount of the benefit goes up starting from the third child.
The proposed amendment implies a difference in the benefit’s size for the second childbirth, which will increase threefold to 150,000 drams from October 1, 2018. During the exchange of opinions that followed, a number of proposals and recommendations were made concerning the draft. In particular, it was suggested to double the amount of lump-sum benefit in case of twins’ birth. The Premier suggested studying the recommendations and submitting a finalized version at the next Cabinet meeting.
Stressing the importance of the issue at hand, the Head of Government expressed the hope that the amounts intended for improving maternity care and promoting fertility will prove short next year, and the need will arise to complement the funds in the middle of the year. “This is a crucial topic as we badly need a boom in childbirths,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
In a bid to ensure the continuity of reforms aimed at improving the business environment, including the protection of small shareholders’ interests, the meeting approved the government’s legislative initiative on making amendments and additions to the Law on Joint-Stock Companies, amending the Law on Limited Liability Companies and amending the Law on Securities Market.
The Cabinet next endorsed a legislative initiative on amending the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia and the RA Law on Administrative Offenses. The initiative seeks to enhance efficiency in the fight against different types of theft: adequate penalties shall be imposed, which in turn will curb the atmosphere of impunity. In particular, thefts committed from clothes, bags or other accessories shall henceforth be deemed as an aggravating circumstance. In this event, pocket-picking will be subject to prosecution regardless of the amount stolen.
The government next approved a legislative initiative to amend the Law on Public-Private Sector Partnership, the Land Code of the Republic of Armenia and a number of other legal acts. The amendment is expected to create a legal framework for enforcement of public-private partnerships (PPP) mechanisms for the management of PPP programs.
Summing up the discussion, the Prime Minister noted that the proposed bills need further consideration in order to give them the most up-to-date solutions and handle the matters as accurately as possible.
In conclusion, the meeting approved the government’s legislative initiative on amending the RA Law on Road Traffic Safety, the Code of Administrative Offenses, and some related laws.