By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenia’s attempts to get up from its knees time and time again are doomed to failure. More and more oppositional and even pro-governmental MPs and officials regularly refute the theses and slogans of the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which have been deceiving the Armenian population for a whole year.
Recently, Atom Janjughazyan, Finance Minister of Armenia, ruined the prime minister's favorite thesis about the active process of transforming the domestic economy towards recovery and more extensive diversification.
The minister acknowledged that the structure of economic growth did not yield the expected results, and this growth is still more provided by the service sector, and not at all by the manufacturing and, moreover, by the high-tech industry, which the "people's prime minister" likes to speculate about. Furthermore, Janjughazyan stated that the population, which remained with its skinny wallet, did not feel the "revolutionary" economic growth.
In addition, the finance minister denies the export orientation of the Armenian economy. He said that export growth rates were almost twice as low as imports. Therefore, Armenia is dealing with the deepening of the negative balance of foreign trade balance.
Thus, allegedly proclaiming the orientation of the Armenian economy to foreign markets, Pashinyan’s cabinet essentially did not achieve anything in terms of reducing the difference between imports and exports. It is noteworthy that this year the growth of both exports and imports, which show negative from month to month (as compared with the same periods of 2018), has stopped altogether.
The Armenian government stated that it sees enormous corruption risks in the implementation of large-scale credit infrastructure programs. However, instead of using effective mechanisms to control and neutralize these risks, the government completely stopped the implementation of these programs.
In this regard, even Babken Tunyan, head of the parliamentary commission on economic issues from the ruling block, expressed his doubts. He said as a result of the government’s actions, the expenditure part of the state budget for 2018 was fulfilled only by 94.7 percent, that is, the economy did not receive the promised 80 billion drams ($167.5 million) and official external grants and loans to cover the budget deficit.
Moreover, Tunyan admitted that the structure of expenditures is still dominated by current rather than capital expenditures, that is, instead of investments in infrastructure and development cost, spending is carried out on simple consumption.
In turn, Tigran Khachatryan, Armenia’s Economic Development and Investments Minister, answering the question on where the investment went, cited the example of the investment program for the Technopark construction worth $130 million. Armenian IT companies are not expanding due to the lack of appropriate facilities, he noted.
In addition, the minister mentioned the fact that there are no mining products in the structure of the growth of Armenia’s exports to the EAEU countries. It seems Khachatryan does not know that the EAEU countries have enough of their similar products, therefore the mining industry products from Armenia have never been sent to these countries.
From all the above, it is possible to conclude that broad segments of the Armenian population, in particular, state employees and pensioners, will have to wait for a long time to increase their income and financial well-being.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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