2019 May 30
Anti-Corruption & News - May/30/2019: Free medications for 200,000 additional people.... Cassations Court... Business law reforms... Government cuts itself... Exports up again... Tax waiver for >40bln new investments... Military service changes... Gambling stats... lots of other stories inside
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Yesterday, Cassations court took the Kocharyan case paperwork back so it could make a copy. Today, a new Cassations judge has been appointed to hear the case in which the prosecutors are challenging the earlier verdict.
Artsakh war commando and politician Samvel Babayan claims that his political opponent (and Artsakh president candidate) Araik Harutyunyan's gangs opened fire towards his car near the Sevan-Martuni freeway. Babayan gave specific names and said the gangs are directly under the protection of Harutyunyan. Babayan has asked NSS to investigate. Babayan said these armed gangs are also active in Artsakh and spread terror among the population. Babayan threatened to act himself if nothing is done to stop them.
The accused Araik Harutyunyan has denied the accusations. Called it a misinformation. Urged Babayan not to "blackmail" them. He said if there is a personal conflict between Babayan and other participants, the police should investigate to find out what happened.
NSS chief Vanetsyan says the participants are known, and it's clear what happened. Says the incident did happen and it was a result of financial disputes between two groups of people.
The government held a session today.
They approved an amendment to the bankruptcy declaration laws. Justice Minister Zeynalyan says the change will also help to improve Armenia's rating in "Doing Business" index. Numerous transparency, efficiency and rights protections reforms are proposed. (still needs a Parliamentary approval)
Another reform was approved regarding Cadastre committee (property registrations).
Physically stamping the documents will no longer be necessary. This will improve electronic and paperless processing, and better integrate with other agencies' work. The property ownership certificates will change. (needs Parliamentary approval)
Pashinyan noted that this is the last time that 17 ministries are participating in a government session. Soon it will be cut due to the recently adopted law. 27 deputy Ministers and aides were laid off today. Some ministries will merge soon.
Pashinyan noted that the industry and the economy as a whole are growing at a fast rate, but he was worried about the recent drop in exports in the first 3 months of 2019.
The latest numbers for April show the exports are up again, by 9.9%. The exports are up 14.7% compared to the same period of 2018. Aluminum giant Armenal exports rose 44%. Cigarette exports up 60%. Jewelery exports up 68%. Chocolate up 34%.
The government approved a plan to give 200,000 low income citizens free medications as part of a 1.1bln program. Two new health conditions were added to the list of treatments that are free. An earlier proposal gave these low income residents free healthcare. The new proposal ads free medications on top of the free healthcare.
610 additional ambulance workers will receive free healthcare. Thousands of medical field workers received one earlier, but these 610 were "left out".
Pashinyan asked the cabinet members to take steps to inform the citizens about these chages, about what medications they can get, what papers they need, because many times people aren't aware that they qualify for aid.
A law was earlier approved to raise soldier salaries by as much as 20%. It goes into effect in 2 days, beginning June. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqaA-uCtUFM
The government temporarily canceled taxes for GRANT company that produces high pressure canisters. 26.7bln ($55 million) in investments. 190 jobs with 250k avg salary.
Moeiff company also received the tax free status to invest 14.7bln ($30 million) in production of house appliances with non-corrosive metals. 100 new jobs with 130k salary.
They temporarily canceled taxes for Avalanj company so it can import 1.8bln in tech to build greenhouses in Aragatsotn province. 60 additional jobs with 120k avg salary. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/162688
The government issued a 8mln aid to the National Song and Dance Academy. It's tasked with researching and teaching traditional Armenian dances.
18mln was issued to the Union of Artists of Armenia. State Forest Monitoring Center received 21mln aid to pay its bills. 360mln for Penitentiary Medicine Center to provide Healthcare for inmates. 463mln to obtain vaccination materials for children and military-age young men. 6.5mln to subsidize the construction of water system is Sari Gyugh.
https://hetq.am/hy/article/104147 https://hetq.am/hy/article/104153 - - https://hetq.am/hy/article/104151 - - https://hetq.am/hy/article/104149 - - https://hetq.am/hy/article/104148 - - https://hetq.am/hy/article/104147 - - https://hetq.am/hy/article/104146
They decided to issue funds to - within a month - repair the road that leads to the Sevan peninsula. It's a tourism spot and the season will begin soon. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/976690.html
The government gave a 100mln worth land somewhere near Tsitsernakaberd to a company so it can build a large tech center. Upon completion, the company will donate one facility to the city.
400 jobs will be created during the 4 year construction, 300 of them permanent. 2,500 people can be hired later once the building is used for its purpose.
Instead of the regular 2-year military service, soldiers can currently choose to enroll in various military programs. They can choose a 3-year program called Pativ Unem, which ties their service to education, and gives a list of benefits such a free Master degree education and more vacations. The government has proposed lowering this program's "minimal duration" to 2 years to make it more appealing.
In another proposal, the maximum age limit for hired soldiers will be raised from 35 to 40 years old. If the contractor has skills that the army has a shortage of, the age limit will be 45. (all these are yet to be officially approved to become law)
If two brothers are recruited simultaneously and they want to serve in the same place, only one will participate in the lottery system that picks their location.
High ranking officers will also qualify to receive mortgage loan aid that is currently provided to regulars.
Parliament speaker QP Mirzoyan says the fact that 4 Constitutional Court judge nominees have been rejected by the Parliament so far, doesn't mean a disrespect towards the president, who appoints the candidacies. The process will continue until both institutions find a common ground.
Mirzoyan was asked to comment about some paintings in the Parliament hall that raised money spending questions. Says he didn't buy them, the Parliament has funds for it and it bought it. They bought it for a 75% discount directly from the painter.
European Council sent its rule of law and human rights top delegation to Armenia. They met Justice minister Zeynalyan, offered to help Armenia with the judicial reforms. Delegation also included officials from Venice Commission and GRECO (anti-corruption institute).
QP is currently trying to pass a law to limit the physical gambling locations (read yesterday edition). Here are some stats on how much the big gambling firms earned from the clients' betting losses in 2018: Toto Gaming 6.5bln, Vivaro 5.9bln, Goodwin 2.4bln, Adjarabet 0.02bln.
Combined, these bookmakers made 14.8bln after receiving 145bln in bets. Net profit of these firms was 6.6bln.
Someone decided to troll the Parliament today. Someone in the chamber turned on a gambling ad during a session. Anti-gambling bill author Alen Simonyan asked them to knock it off.
Various unions of journalists released a joint statement condemning "threats and other pressures on journalists". They aren't happy that BHK chief Gagik Tsarukyan recently (allegedly) told a journalist that she is paid to negatively target him, and that the journalist will "pay for her actions".
Other listed examples were something that Roboserj 5Th Channel boss told CivilNet, a former MP told something to popular TV host Petros Ghazaryan, something that Supreme Court Council chairman told Azatutyun media.
They also urged their fellow journalists to be professional, have a sense of delicacy, follow journalistic ethics.
On June 1st, the children's protection day, people are planning to organize a march titled "Don't park on the sidewalk". They'll spread fliers and inform the drivers that parking their car on the sidewalk hinders a pedestrian's ability to push a stroller or a wheelchair, and they are forced to get on the dangerous road to bypass it.
Chessist Gabriel Sargsyan has won the Al-Batayih blitz competition held in UAE.
Artsakh army denies the Azeri report that Armenian snipers killed an Azeri soldier near Akna region.
It isn't uncommon for the Azerbaijan army to cover-up internal problems that led to a murder, by blaming the death on Armenians.
Europa League final game is over, but the drama surrounding Azerbaijan's policy and Mkhitaryan isn't.
On the match day, Baku residents got into a fight with Arsenal fans who were singing pro-Mkhitaryan songs.
A Russian sports journalist tried to "smuggle" Mkhitaryan jersey into the stadium, but was denied.
The stadiums weren't full because of ticket issues caused by Baku's remote location from Europe, inability to host many people simultaneously, not providing enough access to disabled people, expensive hotels and air fares. Thousands of seats were vacant. Both teams returned half of their tickets, which Baku then had to sell to the locals.
Some fans were complaining that the distance between the pitch and tribunes was too big.
Other complaints were about the main camera recording from a too far distance, lack of excitement in the tribunes due to many Arsenal fans not appearing for the game.
Chelsea 4:1 Arsenal. Mkhitaryan scored the only goal for Arsenal except he didn't.
Pictures http://www.sportbible.com/football/news-thousands-of-empty-seats-in-baku-for-all-english-europa-league-final-20190529 - - - - - https://www.foxsports.com.au/football/thousands-of-empty-seats-in-arsenal-and-chelsea-ends-as-fans-struggle-to-get-to-baku-for-europa-league-final/news-story/68d267536fa0790533d32e690a798202 - - - - http://www.businessinsider.com/europa-league-final-empty-stadium-venue-2019-5 - - - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7084239/Cesc-Fabregas-criticises-decision-hold-Europa-League-final-Baku-thousands-seats.html
The Beatles' "Yesterday" has been picked by 24/7 Wall Street as the best song of all times.
Area near Hrazdan stadium and former president LTP was on fire today https://youtu.be/bRjw8aWBpi8?t=10
Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/buycjc/anticorruption_news_may302019_free_medications/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|