Armenia’s 2012 state budget – ‘social’ or ‘pre-electoral’

The newly-adopted budget doesn’t look reassuring, nor does it prove Armenia’s past the crisis and instability, according to Stepan Safaryan.

On December 8, Armenian National Assembly adopted 2012 state budget with 66 votes in favor and 2 against. Heritage and ARF Dashnaktutyun parliamentary groups did not vote.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The final version of 2012 state budget stipulates AMD 911,6 bln revenues, AMD 1044,1bln expenses and AMD 132,5 bln deficit. Deficit rate in GDP is forecast to total 3,1% against 3,95% stipulated for 2011 state budget. The parliament also adopted a legislative package of tax reforms to ensure growth of AMD 101 bln tax inflow for 2012.

The budget envisages economic growth of 4,2% and inflation rate of 4% (+,-1.5%).

According to experts, the budget can be described as social, with pensions and allowances to be increased by AMD 3000 and 2700 respectively.

The head of Heritage opposition party’s parliamentary group characterized the Armenian National Assembly-adopted 2012 state budget as “pre-electoral.”

“The budget was adopted in a desperate attempt to resolve the problems which hadn’t been solved over the last 4 years,” Stepan Safaryan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. “The newly-adopted budget doesn’t look reassuring, nor does it prove Armenia’s past the crisis and instability. As for the budget implementability, the authorities, as usual, will fulfill it through external debt increase, giving no thought to the ways of paying it off.”

According to the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen (Employers) of Armenia (UMB(E)A) Vazgen Safaryan, the authorities should change the budget policy and make it investment-targeted, what would create a basis for the country’s economic development.

Meanwhile, displeased with the government’s activity, ARF Dashnaktsutyun (ARFD) opposition party drafted a resolution, suggesting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan consider a vote of no confidence in the government. “The government, which, over the years, proved unable to reach the goals stipulated in 2008-2012 program is not to be trusted,” ARFD member Armen Rustamyan told the National Assembly.

The proposal was rejected by the parliament with13 MPs voting in favor, 48 against, 4 abstentions.

Time will show whether the budget will really help solve social problems or will become a tool in the election race.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News
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