By Abdul Kerimkhanov
It has been a long time since the so-called “velvet” revolution in Armenia, but the economic indicators are still not encouraging. What is obvious is that the economic policy pursued in Armenia is not consistent with the declared economic revolution.
Armenian population had good expectations, but they do not see any concrete changes, and the number of people with optimistic mood is steadily decreasing.
The Statistics Committee of Armenia presented controversial data in October 2019. According to report, there was a massive increase in industrial production in Armenia in January-August 2019, whilst electricity production, by contrast, decreased by 2.5 percent.
Obviously, the growth in industrial production should not have been accompanied by a decline, but by an increase in electricity consumption. Since Armenia does not use energy-saving technologies and investments in the relevant industries grow very slowly, the Committee’s growth figures look unconvincing.
The figures of the Statistics Committee confirm the high level of corruption in Armenia in previous years. Under strong corruption pressure, the local business was forced to pay tribute to corrupt officials, it had to go into the shadows and underestimate the real production volumes in its reports. Business could not pay taxes in full and at the same time pay bribes to thieve corrupt officials, as it would have been ruined.
After the velvet revolution, Armenia found itself in a state of unstable equilibrium under conditions of authoritarian modernization. During the relaxation of the current Armenian government, the criminal self-interest, illegal enrichment and corruption fever the state, which in the end may be in no better condition than under the previous government led by Serj Sargsyan. The authoritarian modernization that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is now undertaking is extremely rarely successful, usually, its results are negative, and often fail.
To effectively combat corruption, the entire system of state power in Armenia should be set up to prevent corruption. Legislative, executive and judicial powers must balance and control each other. An effective system of checks and balances should be in place. When one of the branches of government has an advantage, this inevitably leads to the growth of corruption, which is now observed in Armenia.
For progress to become irreversible, authoritarian modernization should be followed by democratic European modernization. However, the post-revolutionary Armenian government continues to pursue personal interests instead of the interests of the state.
Therefore, all the expectations for the current government in building an effective rule of law and giving an impetus to the sustainable development of Armenia for the long term with high socio-economic parameters are very vague.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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