By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenian economist Tadevos Avetisyan has said that the government has implemented only half of social programs envisaged for 2019, despite the fact that the year is coming to an end.
The expert made the remarks while commenting on unemployment in Armenia and measures taken to tackle this problem.
“In 2019, the volume of an important program aimed at employing people with disabilities was reduced four times. Without understanding the problem, without fully assessing it, without properly informing people, under the guise of combating corruption this year as a result of careless management, the program failed to be fulfill," Avetisyan stated.
He emphasized that the employment of people with disabilities remains one of the most important problems in Armenia, and the unfulfilled program concerned a certain circle of people and concrete citizens.
For comparison, Avetisyan recalled that the programs planned for 2018 were also not fully implemented and last year the indicator of programs’ fulfillment reached 75 percent.
"In 2018, the implementation of state programs in the field of employment made up 25 percent. That is, out of the amount of 1.7 billion drams ($3.58 million) allocated from the state budget for 250,000 unemployed, only 25 percent was spent. Thousands of people were left without support, which they are entitled by law," Avetisyan explained.
He accused Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of ignoring the provisions of the Basic Law of the country’s Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Ministry confirmed that social programs, in fact, were not fully implemented. Justifying its incompetence, the ministry explained that the shortfall of projects is the result of changes that have been made and are still being introduced into social programs.
As the ministry emphasized, these changes came into force before the so-called velvet revolution in 2017, hence unprecedented rate of under-fulfillment of programs in 2018.
Earlier in the Armenian parliament, a deputy from Prosperous Armenia Party, a right-wing political party in Armenia, stated that the country has the highest unemployment rate in the region. He pointed that rate of people unemployed in Armenia is 18 percent, while in Turkey the indicator is 13.5 percent, in Georgia-12.7 percent, and in Azerbaijan - only five percent.
Touching upon terms of poverty, he further noted that the information doesn’t correspond with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s high-profile plans. As the deputy mentioned, Armenia is also a leader in the region in poverty rate with 29.4 percent, lagging Georgia - 21 percent, Azerbaijan - 5 percent, Turkey - 1.6 percent.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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