NA Standing Committee on Production and Manufacturing Infrastructure and Budget, Financial and Economic Management Joint Sitting
November 26, a sitting of the NA standing committees on production and manufacturing infrastructures and on Budget, Financial and Economic management was held, presided by the commission chairmen Arpat Avanesyan and Aram Grigoryan.
NA President Ashot Ghoulyan, NA Vice-President Vahram Balayan and Deputy Minister of Finance Norayr Avanesyan participated in the meeting.
Issues related to financing of industry, urban development, agriculture, transport and communication, energy system, nature protection and natural resources, drinking and irrigation water and other spheres, as envisaged by the draft law "On the 2019 State Budget of the Artsakh Republic" were discussed.
Presenting the state program of capital investments in 2019, the Minister of Urban Development Karen Shahramanyan noted that 19 billion 86 million AMD is envisaged instead of 18 billion 340 million AMD in 2018. Among other projects, the Minister outlined the construction works of the Artsakh State University and its adjacent territory, which are scheduled to be completed by 2020 and the European Championship of the Confederation of Football Federations of Unrecognized Countries to be held in June 2019.
The Minister of Urban Development also responded questions concerning the repair of the Askeran highway, water supply works, and other issues related to the renovation of schools.
According to Agriculture Minister Zhirayr Mirzoyan, next year 4 billion 779 million will be allocated to agriculture, instead of this year's 4 billion 504 million.
The Minister clarified the effectiveness of the introduction of drip irrigation systems, subsidy management systems, subsidizing of agricultural seeds, introduction of modern co-operation systems and other issues.
According to the Minister of Economy and Industrial Infrastructure Levon Grigoryan, in 2019 about 3, 5 billion drams will be allocated, which is almost unchanged compared with 2018. The deputies asked the Minister to reprint the Artsakh Atlas, issues on electricity export prices, natural gas tariffs, and discretionary employees' bonuses.
Next year, the expenditure on environmental protection and the Ministry of Natural Resources, according to Minister Felix Gabrielyan, will make 342 million drams instead of 331 million in the current year. The amount will be spent for implementation of 7 projects. After the budget presentation, the minister answered the questions concerning the surface and groundwater surveys, control of hydropower stations operation and other environmental issues.
According to Hakob Ghahramanyan, Chairman of the State Commission on Regulation of Public Services and Economic Competition, the cost of maintaining the committee in the coming year will make 200 million 770 thousand. According to the commission chairman the increase is due to the normal increase of wages and the cost of maintaining a commission new building. According to Hakob Ghahramanyan, in case of adoption of the corresponding law in the coming year by the NA, the Commission envisages 1% financing of the public services consumer protection organizations. The Committee Chair also clarified the topics of telephone roaming services, contracts with HPPs.
The expenditure of the Agriculture and Agriculture Assistance Fund in 2019 will make 1.5 billion drams, which is 200 million drams more than in the previous year. Speaking about the Foundation's programs, Tigran Tsatryan outlined the repayment of loans, the efficiency of livestock development programs, and the ARI program.
According to Kajik Khachatryan, Chairman of the Artsakh Investment Fund, the Fund's expenditure was estimated at 4 billion drams next year. The MPs asked the Head of the fund to increase the amount of money allocated to the villagers and to extend the terms of the contract.