NAGORNO-KARABAKH GOVERNMENT APPROVES 2013 DRAFT BUDGET

YEREVAN, November 28. / ARKA /. The government of Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic (NKR) approved yesterday a draft 2013 budget. NKR finance
and economy minister Spartak Tevosyan said it calls for 70.294 billion
drams in revenue and 71.050 billion drams in spending. The projected
deficit is about 756 million drams.

"The draft budget is designed to raise the living standards of our
population, strengthen the defense capabilities of the country and
boost economic advancement", the minister said. He said the government
expects the economy to expand next year by 9 percent.

He said some 25.4% of the budget are earmarked as social spending, a
larger proportion than in 2012 budget. He said the government created
sufficient financial resources for the successful continuation of
earlier launched public programs and projects. He said the minimum
salary will rise next year to 35,000 drams from current 32,500 drams.

NKR prime minister Ara Harutyunyan said public sector salaries and
pensions will not see a rise because the government needs to adjust
its policies with Armenia. He said the private sector is expected to
make tangible investments in the mining and energy sectors.

Harutyunyan said if all planned measures are implemented the 2014
budget may be increased to 78 billion drams. The draft state budget
will be submitted to parliament's consideration. -0-