June 20, 2012 - 22:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Today, June 20, government submitted its program to National Assembly of Armenia, with Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan briefing the MPs on the program for the five years to come.
Earlier, parliamentary groups of Armenian National Congress (ANC), Heritage and ARF Dashnaktsutyun announced forming opposition, with Prosperous Armenia faction refraining from it.
However, the most important part was yet to come during Q&A session and MP’s issuing statements. Prosperous Armenia, which not long ago made part of the ruling coalition and bore responsibility for the situation in the country, intends t become a true Catholic, having stepped up rivalry with the opposition forces, including even the ANC.
Prosperous Armenia parliamentary group member, former foreign minister Vartan Oskanian was the first to issue criticism. He slammed the government for the 14 % economic decline during the financial crisis and 35 % poverty rate.
Tigran Sargsyan, in response, conditioned the economic slump by the by construction industry’s large share, relating 10.5% out of the 14 % economic recession to the sector.
The party’s criticism of the government activities continued with Prosperous Armenia parliamentary group secretary Naira Zohrabyan taking the parliament platform.
She harshly criticized government’s program and the Prime Minister. She said that though the government pledged to reduce poverty rate, the latter currently totals 35,8%.
According to her, emigration has reached an enormous scale, with 400 people daily leaving the country.
“Government, policy of which remains unchanged, failed its previous program. Today, it claims to public trust almost with the same staff and program,” the MP said, characterizing the financial crisis as “life-saving link” for government’s drawbacks.
“Only serious changes will bring about tangible progress,” Ms. Zohrabyan said, adding that someone must be kept accountable for 14,5% economic decline.
The MP further voiced confidence for Prosperous Armenia party to vote against the government’s program.
Ms. Zohrabyan’s brilliant speech was further complemented by ex-minister Oskanian again, who reminded of the average economic growth rates during the previous government’s term (2003-2007) – 13%.
“Non-admission of your mistakes was your government’s drawback over the recent years,” he said during the discussion of the government’s program at Armenian National Assembly.
According to Mr. Oskanian, the government’s statement on restoration of the pre-crisis level of GDP is true only given the par value. Whereas considering the current inflation and economic growth rates, the pre-crisis level will be achieved only in 2014. He further noted that government maintained the social programs due to increase in external debt of the state.
Among the consequences of the government’s other activities, the ex-minister noted cut in foreign investments and increase in poverty. He stressed global crisis, economic oversights and government’s misguided policy as the reasons behind the major economic decline.
Mr. Oskanian called attention to government’s anti- crisis struggle, noting that Tigran Sargsyan submitted to the parliament budget stipulating economic growth when the whole world discussed the oncoming crisis in 2008.
The MP further expressed skepticism over the government’s envisaging economic growth, noting that the program failed to reflect on major infrastructure projects, particularly the construction of the new NPP.
“The program can’t secure 7 % growth regardless of the situation in Europe. Armenia’s average economic growth grossed 13 % back in 2003-2007,” the ex-minister said, noting with irony that international financial organizations keep hailing the government activities.
Thus, it remains only to look forward to the parliament’s voting of the government’s program.
The program is likely to be approved, considering the overwhelming majority – coalition between the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and Orinats Yerkir. However, will all of Prosperous Armenia parliamentary group members back Zohrabyan’s and Oskanian’s fit of temper?
RPA-Prosperous Armenia confrontation which started during the pre-election period continues to gain momentum, with the conflict likely to reach its climax by 2013 presidential race.