Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited Vayots Dzor Marz to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.
Vayots Dzor Marz Governor Harutyun Sargsyan presented the macroeconomic indicators recorded in the Marz in 2017. Total industrial output was 16.544 billion drams, agriculture – 23.8 billion drams, trade turnover – 7.3 billion drams, services – 8.3 billion drams, construction – 37.8 billion drams.
In 2017, investments stood at 104.5 billion drams, with 910 permanent and 943 temporary jobs created. The 2018 working program envisages 64.816 billion drams in investment and a total of 1,400 permanent and temporary jobs.
Private sector Investments rose to AMD 100,353mln in the reporting year. This year 55,236 million drams will be invested in mining industry, milk and dairy production, fruit and vegetable processing, dried fruits, textile industry, tourism and other spheres.
A coordination group has been set up to introduce the institution of Administrative Registrar, which will be collecting statistical data from communities and providing information to different departments.
With reference to community statistics, the Governor advised that the actual revenue of 8 local community budgets made AMD 1,836.4 million, which exceeds the annual target by 18.5 million drams (101%) more than it was planned, the collection of own revenues amounted to 726.6 million drams (100.9%). Own revenues were AMD 147.0 million up as compared to 2016.
This year’s target of local budget receipts is AMD 1,952.7 million, with 889.1 million drams envisaged as own revenue. In 2018, the total amount of own revenues will exceed that of 2017 by 172.5 million drams.
The Prime Minister noted that the per capita income in Vayots Dzor does not match the opportunities available in the region, and consistent efforts should be made in order to make these indices proportionate, as well as to raise the level of employment.
“Vayots Dzor should belong to the class of most rapidly developing regions by virtue of its social, economic and business opportunities as it boasts unparalleled opportunities for a more rapid development under its starter conditions. We must provide jobs and create the best possible conditions. Vayots Dzor is a compact area in terms of agriculture, and we have the needed potential to provide everyone with jobs very quickly,” the Prime Minister said.
Touching upon the work carried out in the field of waste management, the sector manager reported that there were 894 business entities registered in Vayots Dzor Marz as of 2017. Relevant contracts have been signed with 615 economic entities so far. The Prime Minister instructed to complete the process by the end of March and conclude waste management contracts with all entities.
In 2017, garbage collection fees made 43.5 million drams, cleaning and garbage disposal – 153.6 million drams, of which 65.7 million drams was spent on garbage disposal. The collected amounts for waste disposal accounted for 66.2% of the waste disposal costs (28.3% of the total expenditure).
The Governor said they were going to increase the level of garbage collection to 82.8 million drams in 2018. He noted that in compliance with the Premier’s instruction to adjust the revenue-expenditure ratio, corresponding changes had been made to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of waste management.
As regards the agricultural sector indicators, it was reported that Vayots Dzor Marz had 6534 hectares of arable land in 2017. This year the coverage of irrigated land will be increased by at least 10 hectares.
One farm machinery unit was leased in 2017. Four units are due to be leased this year. 25 hectares of intensive orchards were established in 2016, 30 hectares – in 2017; 55 hectares will be set up in 2018. 7 hectares used to be irrigated through drip irrigation. The drip irrigation system will be applied on 25 hectares in 2018. It is expected to have a growth of 2 billion drams in agriculture this year.
The Prime Minister stressed that there are serious growth opportunities in Vayots Dzor, and urged the Marz Governor to set a higher growth bar, as well as to discuss opportunities for involving the private investor in investment programs and in the management of community-owned, regional and national assets.
In 2017, 430.3 million dram-worth activities were carried out by State agencies, international and other donor organizations and private investors in the agricultural sector of Vayots Dzor Marz. 755 million drams will be invested in 2018. As a result, 200 permanent and temporary jobs will be created. In 2017, AMD 104,515 million was invested, the volume of construction rose to 37,838 million drams.
In 2018, it is envisaged to make capital investments of 64,816 million drams; the volume of construction works is forecasted at 28,825 million drams.
Investment projects in garbage processing, goat cheese production, tourism, wine growing, dried fruits are considered to be prospective. Some financial estimates have already been made.
The Prime Minister instructed to develop and submit projects supported by financial estimates, specific results, involving successful businessmen from Vayots Dzor Marz.
Reporting back the activities carried out in the sphere of education, the responsible official from Marz Administration noted that the Textbooks and ICT Foundation has provided tablets to 1794 pupils of 1, 2 and 3 grades.
There are 167 pupils engaged in the robotics groups in 9 secondary schools. All teachers, except for Bardzruni community’s secondary school, have higher education. This issue will also be solved in the new academic year.
There are 61 physical education teachers. 38 schools have a gym hall; four communities have sport schools where 13 trainers are employed, with 375 children are enrolled.
Successful is the teaching of entrepreneurship: there are different groups, national songs and dances are being taught at all general education schools.
The Prime Minister attached importance to the provision of necessary conditions and opportunities for children.
“We have to make sure that all children are engaged in training activities in rural communities. Courses like entrepreneurship, robotics, three languages, physical education are very important for the child to be able to orient himself in his future profession,” Karen Karapetyan said, urging to continue making active efforts in that direction.
The Head of Government was informed that paid healthcare services were provided to the amount of 57,676.8 thousand drams, 16064.0 thousand drams more than in 2016 (38%). It is planned to increase the level of paid services to AMD 80,760.8 thousand In 2018. The volume of investments in road construction was 492.4 million drams in 2017, and in 2018 it will rise to AMD 2987.8 million.
Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan made a point of finding non-standard solutions while rebuilding inter-community roads. The Premier instructed those responsible to explore the possibility of such solutions.
It was reported that the number of tourists in the Vayots Dzor Marz was 46,000 in 2017, 9.5% more than last year, 18 permanent jobs have been created. The number of tourists is expected to reach 50,000 in 2018. Within the framework of the “Unreal Reality” program as implemented by the Tourism Development Fund, a program will be completed in 2019 to make tourism destinations of Vayots Dzor’s historic-cultural monuments and 5 specially protected areas. In 2018, a number of infrastructural projects will be implemented by private investors (hotel construction, construction of a tourist complex, etc.).
The Head of Government noted that Vayots Dzor Marz is rich with unique historical and cultural monuments, and all we need is to work more actively and properly present the existing potential in order to increase the region’s attractiveness. In this context, the Prime Minister suggested exploring the prospects for implementing small-scale projects within a short period of time and submitting relevant proposals.