Ambitious but without financial justification – Armenian
economists on new government program
Tert, Armenia – 24/6/2017
Armenian economists on Saturday shared their vision of the government's new program, describing it as an ambitious and positively-oriented document lacking financial justification.
According to Atom Margaryan, a professor at the State University of Economics, the proposed plan of actions for 2017-2022 expands the frameworks of the previous government program to necessitate longer-term reforms. “As opposed to all the previous programs, this program was elaborated as part of a specific strategic agenda,” he said, citing President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech delivered at the newly elected parliament’s opening session.
Meantime, the economist noted that the document also relies on the keynote provisions proposed by the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D).
“This is the evolution of the prime minister’s previous program, i.e. – its continuation. I consider this program as a transition from stabilization to a development policy. The program is ambitious, which I think is absolutely normal. Any program must be ambitious not to otherwise attract criticism. A government program is not a business program; it is a policy document,” he told reporters.
The economist further highlighted the key targets, including the promised 5% GDP growth, the minimal salary increase plan and thepoverty reduction efforts.
Vilen Khachatryan, an economist-expert also attending the news conference, said the proposed estimates suggest a US 14$ billion economic growth and $6.3 billion worth exports (in case of 40%-45% export growth) for 2022.
“What troubles me is not the investments [in general] but rather, the net investments proper. The 2017 net investments are negative as they were down by over 9 billion Armenian Drams (AMD 480.168 = USD 1) compared to last year. That demonstrates that no investment has been practically made to promise an outcome,” he said, noting that the program does not focus on the IT sector.
Khachatryan said he is under the impression that the government simply avoids the responsibility of securing the promised figures. “The scenario-based approached is simply missing. The program proposes good ideas and approaches, yet we do not see the financial feasibility component,” he added.