A Cabinet sitting was held, chaired by Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister issued a number of instructions.
The Premier’s first instruction was about the need to amend the terms and conditions for the lease of State property. In this connection, the Head of Government noted that his team’s surveys had revealed number of flaws in the procedure applicable to the lease of the property run by public agencies.
Karen Karapetyan tasked the Head of State Property Management Department and the Head of State Committee on Immovable Property Cadastre by the Government to discuss and submit to the Government Staff a proposal on amending the above procedure, in particular, as regards the rent calculation formula, the oversight mechanisms, the disparities between the cadastral and market values. They were also told to consider the possibility of imposing a ban on such property transfers.
The Premier next touched upon the possibility of offering temporary customs privileges for the development of agriculture. The Prime Minister noted that the customs duties due for agricultural machinery, hail protection networks, drip irrigation systems and equipment for intensive gardens, imported under the State support programs, are putting an extra financial burden on businesses in the agricultural sector.
Karen Karapetyan gave the Ministers of Agriculture, Economic Development and Investments and the Head of State Revenue Committee a month’s time to discuss and submit to the Government Staff proposals on setting temporary privileges for all equipment imported under the State support programs and otherwise assisting the local producers.
The Executive approved a framework agreement on the design, construction, financing, management and ownership of Shnogh HPP (76 MW) in Lori Marz to be signed between the Government of Armenia, Debed Hydro LLC and the Armenian Investment Club closed private contract investment fund. Within the framework of the project, the Investment Fund will cooperate with western specialized companies.
The project has an estimated cost of USD150-180 million subject to further adjustment. The Government assures that within less than 20 years from the date of commissioning, Electric Networks of Armenia CJSC will be purchasing 500 million kWh of electricity annually. Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan noted that a good and perspective program has been presented.
The Prime Minister asked Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Ashot Manukyan when the Armenian energy system’s long-term development strategy (up till 2036) could be introduced. Mr Manukyan pointed out that it is quite an ambitious program and idea. “That is why we are trying to find ways of stabilizing the fund, which will allow us to state with confidence that at least the tariffs will not change significantly over the next 1.5 decades, and we will be able to rule out external influences,” the Minister said.
The Government next approved a procedure to follow in providing housing to former servicemen entitled for a disability pension and the families of deceased servicemen. The decision establishes priorities according to beneficiaries’ welfare status, as well as the amount of assistance provided in cities and villages.
The meeting decided to set up the Monte Melkonian Military College Foundation and approved the foundation’s charter in an effort to promote the 20-year-long successful activities of Monte Melkonian Military College by allowing it more autonomy in academic, governance and financial management-related matters.
The Government amended one of its previous decisions to streamline the submission of online data for the applicants of lump-sum child-birth benefits for the birth of a third and more children as of January 1, 2018. The Cabinet passed another decision addressing the regulations applicable to child care benefits for two-year-old children.