Armenia pledges no utility shut-offs amid coronavirus crisis

Armenia pledges no utility shut-offs amid coronavirus crisis

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday, March 25 that there will be no utility shut-offs as the country is battling to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Pashinyan said the government should come up with a targeted plan of social support so that people who do not really need it don't benefit from it.

Once the crisis is over, he said, the government must be able to report how targeted and correctly the matter was dealt with.

Pashinyan had said earlier that an urgent social assistance package of AMD 25 billion ($61 million) will be spent to "prevent the deterioration of the social situation" in the country.

Given the minimum wage of AMD 68,000 (approx. $135) and the poverty rate of 23.5%, the government is taking measures to ease the social burden, specifically for the socially disadvantaged portion of the population.

Also Wednesday, the Public Service Regulatory Commission said the coronavirus pandemic is a force majeure event, which means suppliers will not be able to suspend electricity, gas and drinking water supply in case of non-payment by subscribers.

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