30 October, 2012

YEREVAN, October 29. / ARKA /. The Prosperous Armenia Party, which is
the second largest in the Armenian parliament, controlling 37 seats
in the 131-member legislator, said it will not endorse the government
budget drafted for 2013 in its current form.

Speaking to a news conference, Mikael Melkumian, a party lawmaker and
deputy chairman of a parliament committee on economic issues, said,
"We are against this document in its present form. I would describe
it as a "survival budget."

He argued that this budget is not designed to help the government
implement its major plans, as spelled out in its action plan for
2012-2017 'because of a disproportion between revenues and spending."

Melkumyan also expressed surprise at the government's forecast that
the GDP in 2013-2015 will be growing by 3.8% annually, while the 2013
draft budget has set it at 6.2 2%.

"It is unclear what could happen in the world economy over the four
months to bring Armenian GDP forecast down by 3%," he said.

He said his party advocates what he called 'extension and incentive'
policy in the sphere of business.

He also said the party's faction will float amendments to the laws
on the minimum pension, as well as drafts laws on industrial policy
and deposits.

The 2013 draft budget approved by the government on September 27,
calls for 1.059 trillion drams in revenue and 1.183 trillion in
spending. The projected budget gap is 124 billion drams, the 12 month
inflation is projected at 4 1, 5% and the economic expansion at 6%.

($ 1-405.3 drams). -0-