August 11, on the initiative of the Artsakh President, the National Assembly convened an extraordinary session which was attended by the Republic of Artsakh President and executive power officials.
Opening the session, NA President Artur Tovmasyan expressed condolences and sympathies to the brotherly people of Lebanon, wished «patience and courage» to endure the pain of the disaster with the human losses after the explosion in the capital, Beirut. The Head of the Parliament also added that the National Assembly MPs and staff will take part in the activity of the working group set up by the order of the President of the Artsakh Republic to organize and coordinate the work of providing material assistance to the Armenian community of Lebanon.
Turning to the legislative process, the NA President noted, that at the suggestion of the initiator, the President of the Republic of Artsakh, to include in the agenda the drafts «Օn Making Amendments to the Law “On the State Budget 2020 of the Artsakh Republic"» and «On Making Amendments to the Law “Օn Remuneration of the Public Officials”».
Before discussing the issues on the agenda, the Head of the Parliament presented the draft decision of the National Assembly on the special procedure of discussing of the draft law «On Making Amendments to the Law “On the State Budget 2020 of the Artsakh Republic"» in the second reading, proposed by the Head Commission, by which it is envisaged to organize the discussion of the draft law «On Making Amendments to the Law “On State Budget 2020 of the Republic of Artsakh"» in the second reading within 24 hours after its adoption in the first reading. Three hours are set in order to submit written proposals on the project and the conclusion of the Head Commission.
The parliament adopted the decision and proceeded to the discussion of the agenda issues.
Presenting the draft law «On Making Amendments to the Law “On the State Budget 2020 of the Artsakh Republic"», the Minister of Finance Vahram Baghdasaryan noted that the adoption of the law is conditioned by the need to implement the program of the Republic of Artsakh President for 2020-2025.
According to the Minister, the proposed change will be implemented in modern irrigation systems, partial subsidization of electricity tariffs in non-gasified communities, increase of salaries of health workers from September 1, introduction of free higher and secondary professional education, these and other programs. As a result of the proposed changes, the state budget revenues in 2020 will make 126 billion 49 million 399.2 thousand drams (increase - 5.100 million drams), expenditures - 135 billion 650 million 717.7 thousand drams (increase - 14, 810.0 million), the deficit - 9 billion 601 million 318.5 thousand drams, the Funding of which will be provided at the expense of borrowed funds.
The deputies asked the Minister of Finance questions related to the program provisions of the budget.
Artur Harutyunyan, Chair of the NA Standing Committee on Budget, Financial and Economic Management, presented the positive conclusion of the committee on the project. Then an exchange of views took place, during which the NA Vice-President Gagik Baghunts, deputies Davit Melkumyan, Davit Ishkhanyan, Artur Harutyunyan and Eduard Aghabekyan made speeches.
The President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan made a closing speech. The President touched upon the issues raised and expressed readiness to organize discussions with the deputies on some provisions of the budget in the near future. Summing up the speech, the Republic of Artsakh President also spoke about his proposal made during the inauguration ceremony to move the seat of the National Assembly to the city of Shushi, noting that the proposal is planned to be considered and implemented by 2022. Arayik Harutyunyan also considered the probability of moving the presidential residence to Shushi.
After the President's speech, the draft law «On Making Amendments to the Law “On the State Budget 2020 of the Artsakh Republic"» was put to a vote. The law was adopted in the first reading with 26 votes in favor and 6 against.
Next, the Minister of Finance presented the draft law «On Making Amendments to the Law “On Remuneration of Public Officials"».
According to the author, the adoption of the law is conditioned by the need to set coefficients for calculating the official rates of public officials in the newly established public administration bodies in accordance with the structure of the Government of the Republic of Artsakh of May 26, 2020.
The draft proposes to set new coefficients for calculating official rates for high-ranking officials in the State Commission for Regulation of Public Services and Economic Competition of the Republic of Artsakh, which is conditioned by the increase of the coefficients for calculating the official rates of high-ranking officials in the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition in the Republic of Armenia and the Public Services Regulatory Commission from September 2019.
The Standing Committee on Budget, Financial and Economic Management gave a positive conclusion to the project.
The MP Gegham Stepanyan made a speech during the debates.
As a result of the vote, with 24 votes in favor and 8 against, the law was adopted.
The NA extraordinary session will continue its work at 18:25. The parliament will discuss the law «On Making Amendments to the Law “Օn the State Budget 2020 of the Artsakh Republic"» in the second reading.