Inga Martinyan
2010/11/02 | 15:31


Former RA Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan said today that it wasn't
morally correct to call the 2011 budget as "socially" based; i.e. that
it took the social needs of the people into consideration.

He pointed out that while the minimum wage would increase by 6%,
from 30,000 to 32,000 AMD, on paper, inflation was up by 20%. Thus,
the real minimum wage would decrease by 14% in practical terms.

Mr. Bagratyan, who serves as an economic advisor for the
opposition-based HAK (Armenian National Congress) argued that
budgetary figures show that Armenia's economy is experiencing further
centralization in the hands of a few. The more centralized it becomes,
the more the free market and competition disappears.

He argued that inflationary trends in Armenia are caused by this

"Capital is being exported. The wealthy have had their fill and the
Armenian market no longer interests them," Mr. Bagratyan noted.

He predicted that there wouldn't be any growth in the new budget and
that inflation would hit 7-10%.

In 2008, the national budget was 746 billion AMD; 2009 - 960 billion;
2010 - 770 billion and 2011 - 850 billion. Thus, in four years the
budget has grown by 13%.

At the same time, inflation amounted to 26% from 2001 - 2011. Thus,
Bagratyan argues that in real terms the budget has shrunk by 13%.

From: A. Papazian