Government taking steps to improve efficiency of military personnel catering
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
In order to improve catering efficiency for military personnel in army units and other departments subordinate to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia, the government adopted a decision “On implementation of a pilot project and organization of the procurement process.” The reference note says that the current scheme of catering leads to problems arising from the fact that the catering process is divided into many links. As a correct solution to the problem, taking into account the best international practice in this area, the catering chain will be consolidated by contracting out the organization of food supply to an individual.
Nikol Pashinyan noted that the goal is to drastically improve the quality of food products without increasing the amount of funds allocated from the state budget for providing food to military staff.
“The goal is very good, and the partners to be involved in this process should overhaul the canteens, improve the quality and safety of food supplies, maintain the jobs by involving the same people after retraining,” the Prime Minister said. According to the Head of Government, corruption risks should be ruled out, and the problems associated with the quality of catering for soldiers should be resolved as soon as possible.
“We must be sure that we do not have corruption risks. We worked on this problem in cooperation with law enforcement agencies. There were disclosures and so on, but all this did not change the reality. Significant changes have been made, but they cannot be considered pivotal. Our task is to achieve a pivotal change through this mechanism, which is revolutionary in the field of army catering,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
The government approved a number of legislative initiatives: “On Amending the Subsoil Code of the Republic of Armenia and related laws, “On Amending the RA Law On Banning Imports of Right-Hand Drive Vehicles,” “On Amending the RA Law on State Duties,” “On Amending the RA Law On Notification on Implementation of Activities,” “On Amnesty of Penalties for Administrative Offenses and State Duties.”
In particular, the draft law “On Amending the RA Law On Banning Imports of Right-Hand Drive Vehicles” states that those right-hand drive vehicles located in the customs territory of the Republic of Armenia, as well as those vehicles for which payments were made before December 30, 2018, may be imported into the country by the deadline of May 1, 2019.
The meeting approved the proposal to sign the “EU for Armenia: Territorial Development” financing arrangement between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the European Union. The agreement seeks to ensure comprehensive and balanced inclusive growth in the northern regions of Armenia - Shirak, Lori and Tavush - which were selected by the Government as pilot areas, through the development of smart and sustainable agriculture, innovative tourism and creative industries.
The implementation of individual components will be provided by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) through the Neighborhood Investment Fund. The agreement is funded from the EU budget under the European Neighborhood Instrument. The total project cost is 31.250 million euros.
Touching on the agreement, Prime Minister Pashinyan said: “We are once again discussing a major grant project. During this time we have received such grants and will receive more in the future. Summarizing them, we get huge numbers. We will succeed and the citizens will feel their impact, if we ensure the efficient use of these funds. Therefore, the task is simple: we must provide 100% guarantees that state, credit and grant funds are spent purposefully.”