By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that the country will not be able to fully implement the budget planned for 2019. He made the remarks while discussing the budget for 2020 during a government session.
Pashinyan recalled that Armenia still faces the problem of efficient use of budget funds, elimination of corruption and other abuses.
He considers it necessary to make institutional decisions so that money is not just spent and deducted from the budget, but also affects the real life of citizens, economic growth, and the overall situation in the country.
Pashinyan believes that budget inefficiency is mainly due to planned capital expenditures. Commenting on this situation, he said that the state has money, but there are no tools for their effective spending. Given this, the Armenian government decided to refrain from a number of capital expenditures.
After this speech, the Armenian public has started questioning PM’s views as to what constitutes an effective spending and how it affects the lives of citizens.
Judging by the statement of the Armenian PM, capital expenditures should not be classified as effective. There are great corruption risks, the possibility of abuse, etc.
Apparently, Pashinyan does not speak of unconditionally effective concrete budget expenditures affecting people's lives.
In particular, how can one doubt the effectiveness of Pashinyan’s recent trip to the U.S., during which only airflight cost the Armenian treasury several hundred thousand dollars? In addition, ensuring the luxurious conditions for the Armenian PM’s visit is much more important than some capital expenditures such as road construction. Apparently, roads do not affect the lives of citizens, while the comfort of Pashinyan, of course, affects the quality of their lives.
Is it possible to doubt the effectiveness of such an item of budget expenditures as the purchase of a new armored car for Pashinyan, which also cost the treasury several hundred thousand dollars? If anyone doubts that it is inefficient to buy a new car for the head of the government when he has almost the same armored car, then he is a provocateur, Pashinyan believes. If someone considers that the purchase of a new, expensive car that serves the head of government does not positively affect the life of the average citizen of the country, then that man has a mental disorder, according to Armenian PM.
Among the effective expenditures was the $100,000 that was allocated from the budget for the installation of banners and billboards with the note: "Armenia is my heart, people are my family."
To question the effectiveness of this flash mob seems impossible in Armenia. What more has a positive impact on the lives of citizens – a banner with Pashinyan’s words or the development of infrastructure, the construction of roads, water pipes?
Meanwhile, the Armenian government has started discussions on the budget for 2020. The final version is still unknown, but the priorities of state financing are already obvious: ensuring a luxurious life for the Armenian authorities and reducing capital expenditures that solve the country's development tasks.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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