PM refers to the current state of affairs in the system of public administration
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The Government approved the Strategic Plan for Development and Improvement of Administration of the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia for 2020-2024, which will help enforce the basic set of principles and guidelines for tax and customs authorities, as well as comply with the commitments assumed before international organizations. The document outlines the priorities for the coming years, aimed at improving tax and customs administration.
In this connection, the Prime Minister referred to the current state of affairs in the system of public administration, noting that the public administration system today is not capable of normal functioning. “Is it possible to get an accurate idea of economic growth and the current state of Armenia’s economy today? No, it is impossible. For example, I cannot get the information I need. Is it possible to get an assessment of our state bodies, which will be more or less close to each other, regarding our economic situation, the potential of our economy, our economic growth? Therefore, why do we keep working like this? Because the only way to work is to make a political emphasis and push the state system to go and solve a problem,” the Prime Minister said, adding that today there is no potential for the development of these strategies in the public administration system.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, all the results and economic indicators achieved this year are at odds with what could be expected based on the performance of the public administration system and ministries. “Do not be offended, but either the fight against corruption is carried out contrary to the state administration system’ rationale, because the law enforcement system needs to say from time to time what has happened. And there is always a reason for that: a forensic medical examination is carried out, one has escaped, the other wants to run away, the third does not give evidence... And let us admit that the whole state system is resisting the revolution. And I will break this resistance: there is no other way out, because the people of Armenia personally voted for me and my political team so that changes would take place in this country, and not so that we, for various reasons, would constantly circle in place. Stop living constantly in this lie,” the Premier said.
The Government established the post of customs attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in the Russian Federation and approved the order of its activity. The Customs Attaché will act work as an advisor at Armenia’s Embassy in Russia. The reference note says that the decision stems from the need to represent Armenia’s customs-related interests in Russia, foster close and mutually beneficial cooperation between Armenia and Russia in the customs sphere. It is also conditioned by the necessity to promptly respond to the problems that may arise in the work with the Russian customs authorities at the Upper Lars border checkpoint.
Touching upon this decision, the Head of Government pointed out that during this period there were no serious crises or insuperable situations in Upper Lars. “It should be noted that we have a very good working atmosphere with our partners from Russia and Georgia, and we work very effectively; the status of the Customs Attaché will spare the need for government members to deal with all these problems. When government members focus on these issues, other very important issues sometimes suffer from this,” Nikol Pashinyan emphasized.
The meeting approved the Government’s legislative initiative on a set of draft laws “On Amending the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia” and “On Amending the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia.” According to the decision, it is proposed to supplement the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia with article 226.2, according to which responsibility will be established for those individuals or groups making public calls for violence based on gender, race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic characteristics, language, religion, worldview, political or other views, belonging to a national minority, property status, birth, disability, age or other circumstances of personal or social character, for publicly acquitting or advocating such violence.
Appreciating the bill, Nikol Pashinyan described it as a principled draft based on the logic and ideology of the non-violent velvet people’s revolution, which took place in Armenia in 2018:
“If we go the local way of legitimization of violence, we will go to the wrong place. Some do not like tall people, while others like them and so on. And we say that there should not be any violence against any Armenian citizen. Including violence against children should not be used. Where children are subjected to violence, the state has the right to intervene. There should be no violence against women, and where there is violence against women, yes, the state should intervene. No one should suffer from violence or abuse in Armenia.”
Touching on the Istanbul Convention in this context, Nikol Pashinyan asked Justice Minister Rustam Badasyan whether an international assessment had been received. The Minister said that the legal conclusion of the Venice Commission was received, according to which all speculations are inappropriate.
“The object of regulation of the Convention is the prevention of domestic violence. It is constantly speculated that they are talking about same-sex marriages or adoptions on their part, but the Council of Europe authority clearly and unequivocally stated that this document has nothing to do with such phenomena,” Rustam Badasyan underscored.
The Prime Minister noted that it is necessary to clearly state: violence in the Republic of Armenia should be eliminated in the same way as corruption. “And for this to happen, we should not wait for the violence to happen, and then go and say what needs to be brought to justice. A preventive policy is very important, and the adoption of this bill is crucial in this regard. I wish to state that regardless of any convention, no violence should be allowed against anyone in the Republic of Armenia,” Nikol Pashinyan concluded.