“Funds will go to those projects producing maximum effect with minimal cost” - PM discusses development prospects with community leaders in Vayots-Dzor and Ararat Marzes


Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan paid a regular working visit to Vayots-Dzor and Ararat Marzes of Armenia, where he discussed development prospects with the community heads. During a meeting in Yeghegnadzor, Karen Karapetyan said that several initiatives and programs come under consideration following each visit to the provinces, which are then discussed in the Government and get appropriate feedback.

Karen Karapetyan advised that the Ministry of Territorial Administration shall make out a passport for each individual region, which will characterize Marzes and provide their comparative development trends.

“We will discuss with each community the rules under which they will be supported, namely what the community should do to motivate the Government,” the Premier said, adding that the Government highlighting the problem of balanced development of regions.

Vayots-Dzor Marz Governor Harutyun Sargsyan presented the situation in the region, the ongoing programs, achievements and challenges. In particular, the Governor said that the region is mostly agricultural, with up to 20-22 billion dram-worth annual production. Viticulture and cattle breeding are the basic assets in the region. The Governor stressed the importance of increased irrigation in terms of expanding the coverage of cultivated land.

According to the Governor, great attention is paid to tourism industry and the development of the energy sector. As a result the volume of tourist services grew 1.5 times in 2016, while USD 370 million was invested in the mining sector, which will help provide over a thousand new jobs.

The Prime Minister asked the officer responsible for agriculture whether work is being done to organize agricultural cooperatives: “We definitely need to have successful cooperatives, which would be the best propaganda. We definitely need to have smart agriculture, otherwise we will not achieve progress and nothing will change. Who should do this campaign? It is up to you to teach and train the farmers, but you need a plan to set the horizon where you want to go.” Karen Karapetyan said, adding that the stakeholders need to understand the goals and objectives. The Head of Government noted that the region has many successful businessmen who need to be presented specific projects.

“No initiative will be successful unless we have an idea about it. So far we have been subsidizing farms short of development prospects and doomed to mere survival. Subsidies are going up without giving any return,” the Premier said, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture has already introduced a new concept of development, which contains recommendations on subsidy areas.

The Prime Minister next wanted to know whether there is a local farm practicing drip irrigation and received a positive response. The costs were said back in two years. The Prime Minister welcomed the initiative and stressed the importance and efficiency of the system, which implies considerable savings in water supply, construction and maintenance of dams. The Head of Government was told that the Marz administration has developed 20 tourism development programs to a total cost of USD 15 million that may lead to 300 new jobs.

“There is a saying applicable to business management: if you can imagine it, then you have a chance to do it. You must see your horizon, the objective,” Karen Karapetyan said.
AMD 81 million will be saved as a result of the education optimization program. Each teacher is currently attending 6 pupils in Vayots-Dzor Marz. The Prime Minister stressed that the Government has a special focus on education. “The failure to teach and train children in rural communities and small communities will delay our bright future, because humans are our main asset, and they should be well educated,’ Karen Karapetyan and stressed the importance of optimization and better management of financial resources.

Coming to healthcare, the Prime Minister urged the private sector to get involved in the management of healthcare institutions. Karen Karapetyan noted that the Ministry of Healthcare has been set the task to equalize the costs and the share in the GDP.

Speaking on the health sector, the Prime Minister urged the private sector to engage in responsible management of the facility. Karen Karapetyan noted that the Ministry of Health, the aim is to equalize the effect on GDP in the cost level.


Arriving in Ararat Marz, the Prime Minister met with community leaders and economic entities. Marz Governor Rubik Abrahamyan presented the region’s socio-economic situation, the problems and the trends in business development. He said that new production units had recently been launched in the province, including Ararat Group water factory, Golden Ax and Green House greenhouse companies, which have generated more than 1,500 new jobs. It was noted that the total volume of gross agricultural production in the region amounted to 134,800 thousand drams. 75-77 percent of the population is employed in industry. There are 31 processing companies.

Then the Prime Minister was presented various investment projects. The representatives of Golden Ax meat producing company said they have a clear-cut business plan to increase output and exports. 800 thousand dollars are available out of a total of 1.5 million, and the problem is to get the balance of the funds. The Prime Minister was briefed on new technology-based dry fruit, teas, dairy products production-related and tourism promotion projects.

Karen Karapetyan asked about the process of tax collection in recent years, and, in particular, referred to the Mayor’s concern over the accumulation of water on the basement parts of residential buildings in Ararat town.

“I am openly stating that we will only support those who will take the burden. We want to motivate you so that the budget of the local community may rise from 1.8 to 2.5 next year, and up to 3.2 in a few years. We need to understand that we can move forward, if each of us takes part of the burden. The State budget is not unlimited, and we are directing resources to the projects that give maximum effect with minimum cost. Funds will be funneled toward the communities where we can get a multiplier effect. In other words, I will back those communities ready to shoulder a burden. Communities are reluctant to boost the local budget as they are afraid of getting fewer subsidies should they state a larger budget. But I can assure you that we will just increase the amount of subsidies if you step up your budget,” the Prime Minister emphasized.

Summing up the meeting, Karen Karapetyan stressed once again the importance of having development programs made out for individual regions and added that each region should know its assets, capacities and development vectors. “We cannot live any better unless we have a goal. No one can formulate our dream better than us. We cannot have good earnings and be smart in business, if we fail to get knowledge. No one will do this job for us,” the Head of Government emphasized. 

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