November 27, joint sitting of the NA Standing Committees on Production and Manufacturing Infrastructure and on Budget, Financial and Economic Management took place, chaired by Arpat Avanesyan and Aram Grigoryan.
Issues related to the draft law “On the Republic of Artsakh 2020 State budget” on agriculture, transport and communication, energy system, environment and natural resources, drinking and irrigation water have been discussed.
Minister of Agriculture Zhirayr Mirzoyan, presenting the expenses of the agriculture sector in 2020, noted that it will make 5 billion 493 million 219 thousand drams, which is 210 million 949 thousand more than in 2019. The Minister responded to MPs' questions regarding centralized plant protection, cooperative support programs, introduction of drip irrigation systems, systematic livestock vaccination and livestock counting.
According to the Minister of Urban Development Karen Shahramanyan, next year's budget is 19 billion 840 million drams, compared to 19 billion 086 billion drams of the previous year. The minister also noted that by the end of the year the index of capital expenditures will make 22 billion 800 million drams. After detailing the cost of capital construction by sectors, Karen Shahramanyan gave explanations to MPs on the building conditions of the Askeran hospital, Stepanakert School No10 Renovation Project and the deadline of the Astkhashen kindergarten exploitation issues.
Minister of Economy and Production Infrastructure Levon Grigoryan, presenting the cost of maintaining the Ministry by 2020, noted that it is 590 million 225 thousand drams. The deputies discussed with the Minister issues on the possibility of having a second mobile operator in Artsakh, financing of the work in the Stepanakert Airport, subsidizing electricity costs and effective use of funds for economic relations.
Minister of Nature Protection and Natural Resources Felix Gabrielyan, speaking about the amount envisaged by the 2020 state budget, noted that it is planned to allocate AMD 201 million 712 thousand for the preservation of environmental management bodies. The Minister presented the main program directions scheduled for the next year and responded to the questions put forward by the deputies related to the pilot air monitoring project for the coming year, elimination of environmental problems caused by HPP operations, prevention of illegal logging and other issues.
After the break, the joint sitting of the Standing Committees continued.
Expenses of the State Commission for Regulation of Public Services and Economic Competition in 2020, according to the Head of the Commission Michael Virabyan, will make 203 million 663 thousand drams, which is 2 million 283 thousand more than last year's index. Parliamentarians discussed electricity tariffs, 3G network upgrades and issues related to the quality of services provided by “Karabakh Telecom”.
According to Tigran Tsatryan, Chairman of the Rural and Agricultural Support Fund, 1 billion 500 million drams will be allocated from the state budget to support various agrarian support programs, loans provision and partial subsidization of loans provided by commercial banks for agricultural projects. The Head of the Foundation gave clarifications to MPs' questions on software monitoring and subsidizing of the farming.
President of the Artsakh Investment Fund Kajik Khachatryan, speaking about the fund's 2020 expenses, noted that it will make 4 billion drams. The President of the Fund answered the questions raised by the deputies regarding the procedure of getting loans and other topics.