Prime Minister: “The Center of Strategic Initiatives is the platform where our vision is to be formed”


A regular Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.

Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister instructed the heads of ministries and government agencies to summarize and complete by the end of this year all the assignments issued at the preceding Cabinet meetings. The Premier also urged them to summarize and submit performance reports for 2016, as well as to review the action plans and priorities for 2017. Minister of Territorial Administration and Development David Lokyan was instructed to complete the formation Marz passports, which shall contain the necessary indicators.

“You must coordinate all the work with Marz governors in terms of comparing and analyzing the community budgets. What I mean is that during my visits to Vayots-Dzor and Ararat Marzes two days ago we analyzed the budgets and demographic statistics of individual communities, based on which we can make predictions about the possibilities of municipal budgets. The governors and relevant departments should be instructed to analyze and compare the budgets in order to identify the right proportions in developing the community budgets,” Karen Karapetyan said.

The Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the recommendations made by the State Committee for Tourism and the General Department of Civil Aviation concerning the concept of visa issuance. “Please discuss this issue and give a solution considering the procedures applicable in the neighboring countries.”

The Government made a decision on establishing the Center of Strategic Initiatives Foundation and appointing the Center’s Executive Director. The meeting approved the charter of the Center of Strategic Initiatives Foundation. The Foundation is a non-membership and non-profit organization formed on the basis of voluntary contributions of property. Its purpose is to collect long-term strategic programs of economic reforms and investment projects. The Center will have the task of processing, analyzing, reviewing, servicing and monitoring the selected projects.

Prioritizing the establishment of the Center of Strategic Initiatives, the Prime Minister noted, “This is the platform where our vision, our perspectives shall be formed as to how we envision the development of our country's economy by sectors, including macroeconomic indicators, financial resources, investments and so on.”

The meeting approved a bill on amending the RA Criminal Code, which suggests a new wording for Article 205 of the Criminal Code to clearly specify crime modalities. In particular, it was proposed to set the following instances: statement of overtly false and inaccurate data in taxation documents, failure to submit the taxation document for administrative sanctions, as well as the use of false documents in order to reduce the amount of taxes, duties, fees and other mandatory payments. Paragraph 3 of Article 205 of the Criminal Code shall be revised to raise the threshold for fines and penalties against misstatements from AMD 2,000,000 to AMD 4,000,000 (the four thousand-fold of the minimum wage). The bill seeks to clarify the purpose of Article 205 of the Criminal Code, namely the failure to settle large amounts of taxes, fees or other mandatory payments.

In this connection, the Minister of Justice noted that the bill is aimed at further improving the business environment: “The bill has been subject to in-depth discussion with the stakeholders and dispels their concerns considerably,” the Minister said.

The Executive approved the draft agreement on the Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union. The Code deals with almost all those relations arising from third-country imports and exports to and from Eurasian Economic Union-member States. The Code sets the processing of customs declarations in electronic format as a basic principle. It suggests reducing the clearance deadlines. In particular, the set of all documents in the case of release of goods is carried out within 4 hours after registering the customs declaration by the customs authorities (currently one working day following the registration of the customs declaration).

The incumbent Customs Code envisages a temporary custody period of two months with the possibility of 2 months’ extension. The new Code specifies a lump-sum period of 4 months without the possibility of extension, which will simplify administrative processes considerably.

In addition, the new Customs Code clarifies the terms for statement of customs procedures, including import duties and the liabilities arising from tax payments. The new Code also defines the concepts of “free customs zone” and “free warehouse” and the special customs procedures.

Highlighting the Agreement, the Prime Minister stressed that it should be possibly adapted to the rules and regulations applicable in our country in order to facilitate its enforcement. Karen Karapetyan pointed out that the EEU Customs Code takes note of the Armenia-Iran free economic zone.

The Government introduced amendments to make decisions in the past. offered value added tax in the cost of products purchased for the acquired products (including VAT) to lower the current threshold of 100,000 AMD 50.000 AMD is added to obtain a VAT refund equivalent to the amount of VAT paid by foreign persons in the territory.

At the same time, clarifies the VAT refund tax account for invalidation of the VAT refund tax account to withdraw, to get back the VAT for the crew by submitting the crew instead of boarding pass, as well as VAT refunds account of the foreign person’s name. issues related to VAT refunds in the case of incorrectly completing the last name.

In this connection, the Prime Minister tasked the Head of State Revenue Committee to monitor the impact of the proposed amendments on the market.

AMD 506,622.7 thousand will be allocated from the government’s reserve fund to provide assistance to the hail-affected residents of a number of communities in Aragatsotn, Armavir and Kotayk Marzes to help them settle the arrears in irrigation water fees. To remind, some 70 communities suffered from hailstorms in Aragatsotn, Armavir and Kotayk Marzes in 2016. In conclusion, the Government decided to recognize exclusive public interest with respect to M. Aramyants House-Museum immovable cultural monument, located in Akhtala, Lori Marz.

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