Nikol Pashinyan outlines Government’s tasks: investment incentives, army development, poverty reduction
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Before proceeding to the agenda, Nikol Pashinyan referred to the results of the early parliamentary elections held in Armenia: “This is the first Cabinet meeting held after the parliamentary elections of December 9, and I am pleased to note that our government received an overwhelming vote of confidence from the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, which means that at least we have managed to do something that can serve as a basis for the citizens of Armenia to give us a mandate to continue our activities.”
The Acting Prime Minister highlighted several important tasks for the government in the coming period: “First, we need to encourage investments in the context of the economic revolution, and it should be noted that there is a great interest in investing in Armenia, which will continue to grow in the future. I want to draw your attention to this factor, and my direct assignment is to provide all necessary conditions and not create any obstacles for potential investors. I hope there will be no signals that any official creates any obstacles for the implementation of investment projects, etc. Of course, one of the key provisions of our election program is that we must curb the red tape that occurs when investing and running a business, as a whole. We must simplify the procedures as much as possible so that there are no artificial barriers de jure. Therefore, the upcoming challenge is to encourage investment, and for this you need to quickly create an enabling environment.
The second important task is the development of the military-industrial complex. We must be able to provide substantial development of the military-industrial complex, and I associate this issue with our vision of turning Armenia into a technological country, as well as with the need to develop engineering and scientific thought in Armenia, which, of course, is one of the most important tasks for the future.
The next key task is the issue of increasing the combat readiness of the Armed Forces. We talked about this in the pre-election period, and I said that over the next five years we should invest about 2.5 billion dollars in the development of the Armed Forces. We must carry out serious work on finding these tools. We are talking about additional funds, some of which should also be aimed at improving Armenian servicemen’s social status.”
Education was said to be the government’s next important focus in order to upgrade higher education to a qualitatively new level. “We talked about the need to integrate higher education. I think that there is a tangible imbalance between the university system and the system of governance, and we need to identify and create a unified university system that could solve specific problems,” the Acting Prime Minister said.
The next important task is the successful implementation of healthcare with a view to providing broader access to medical services. “We also consider it important to modernize and improve the efficiency of the public administration system just as we discussed it during the pre-election period. We must record significant changes in the social status and well-being of our citizens. Our task is to curb extreme poverty in Armenia. We have the citizens’ mandate, and we must be able to solve these problems, first of all by providing labor incentives and creating favorable conditions for work,” the Acting Prime Minister emphasized.
A decision was adopted with a view to improving Armenia’s public administration system efficiency. According to the decision, it is planned to terminate the activities of Center for Management of Foreign Financial Programs state institution by the Ministry of Finance of Armenia. The relevant functions will be implemented by a standalone unit to be formed within the structure of the Ministry.
50 million drams will be allocated to the Youth Foundation of Armenia to settle the tuition fees for some groups of well-doing university students not included in the free education system. In this connection, Nikol Pashinyan advised that the Central Bank is discussing options for lowering interest rates on student loans.
“I hope that this will be a significant support. But in general, we must find mechanisms that could safeguard students with high academic performance against any threats in terms of continued education. They really should have high academic performance, which will also stimulate the formation of high requirements for higher education,” the Acting Prime Minister said.
AMD 13,762.6 thousand will be allocated to the Ministry of Diaspora in order to pay for Syrian Armenians’ training at higher, vocational and secondary vocational institutions in Armenia in the 2018-2019 Academic Year.