YEREVAN, AUGUST 6, ARMENPRESS. Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the work of the session of the Economic Policy Council under the leadership of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia began today, and will last from August 6 to 7, at the educational center and Dilijan research from the Central Bank of Armenia, ARMENPRESS was informed by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The meeting is attended by President Vahagn Khachaturyan, Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan, Minister of Finance Tigran Khachatryan, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Economic Perspectives Foundation Artur Javadyan, Minister of Industry and the Agro-Industrial Complex of the Eurasian Economic Community Commission Artak Kamalyan, Chairman of the Non-Governmental Organization “Armenian Economic Union” Gurgen Aslanyan, Member of the European Center for Economic Research Zareh Asatryan, Professor Levon Barseghyan of Cornell University, United States, Professor Ruben Enikolopov of the New Moscow Economic School, Professor Vladimir Asriyan of the Barcelona School of Economics, representatives of the National Assembly’s standing committees on financial credit and budgetary affairs, as well as on economic affairs , the deputy ministers of economy, finance and high-tech industry, head of the Dilijan Research Center of Central Bank Armen Nurbekyan, other officials.
In his opening address, Prime Minister Pashinyan said:
“Honourable Mr. President,
First of all, I welcome our experts, the members of the Economic Council to the Prime Minister, and thank them for agreeing to work in this format. In this room, we have discussed many possible directions and economic developments in Armenia in various formats, and some of these discussions have already come to life.
I remember when we were talking here in 2018 about having a flat income tax, and it was a very serious debate, there were a lot of doubts, opinions for and against. In the end, a political decision was made to go in this direction and introduce a flat income tax, reaching 20% in a few years. At the time, we had two expectations of this decision. first, we expected jobs to come out of the shadows, and second, we would have more tax revenue at a lower income tax rate. These predictions, in fact, have come true today. we have continued growth in paid and registered employment, in terms of income tax, we collect more taxes at a lower rate, and this process is ongoing. This is just an example.
Why am I saying this? To be honest, I am very happy that we have taken this decision, because political leaders, or at least I, not being an economist by profession, listen to economists and try to come to a conclusion, of course, under the form of government, in cooperation with the parliamentary majority. I hope that after some time we will remember the decisions made as a result of such a discussion, for which we will express our satisfaction. I welcome you again and thank you for your participation.”
Within the agenda of the session, issues related to Armenia’s economic policy, current situation and planned developments are discussed. The government’s action plan, macroeconomic developments, monetary and fiscal policy, improving the competitiveness of agriculture, developing the food system and other topics are scheduled to be discussed.
Finance Minister Tigran Khachatryan, Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan and head of the Central Bank’s Dilijan Research Center Armen Nurbekyan made the reports. In his report, the Minister of Finance referred to the economic development 2017-2021, the priorities of the budgetary policy to ensure high economic growth in the medium term, the macroeconomic indicators expected by the Government’s Action Plan, the current and capital expenditures and several other issues. The Minister of Economy presented a summary report on the implementation of the Government’s economic plan, the effect of the exchange rate on the economy and exports. In his report, the head of the Central Bank’s Dilijan Research Center referred to monetary policy, inflation and currency developments, pandemic and war uncertainties and forecasts. .
The participants of the session expressed their observations, an exchange of ideas took place on the issues raised in the reports, economic trends and development prospects. Reference was also made to the economic challenges caused by the international situation.
The Prime Minister noted that the priority objective of the Government is the development of human capital, and to this end, radical reforms are being implemented in the field of education. In this context, reference was made to government programs aimed at increasing the productivity of the economy and creating a knowledge-based economy.
The work of the session of the Economic Council under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister will continue on August 7.