2019 March 21
Anti-Corruption Mar/21/2019: Electric grid boss charged -- Gas importer recovers the funds -- Prosecutors examining Shirkhanyan's letter to Kocharyan -- Ethics Committee vs SOC chief -- Governor audits municipality, finds abuse -- student loans -- justice reforms -- army < 2 years? -- nature prot..
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
The prosecutors are examining the open letter sent to Robert Kocharyan by the former deputy Defense Minister Vahan Shirkhanyan, in which the latter accused Rob of robbing the country of $1.5bln and other mismanagement during his control. ⏲ 💣
Rob is currently suing 5 people for alleged defamation. Let's see if he ups those rookie numbers.
The court trial of BHK leader Gagik Tsarukyan's chief bodyguard, who is also a BHK MP, has begun. He is accused of beating a man.
The incident took place last year. The man (victim) annoyed Gago by asking for the latter to help his sportsman son get out of army. Gago refused. Badgering escalated into a fight and the man was taken to a hospital. The man is a long time friends with Gago and people who allegedly beat him. He refused to testify against the chief bodyguard, by later changing his story and saying that he just slipped and fell. 🍿
The MP says he didn't beat the man and he wasn't even in the room. It is now up to the prosecutors to prove otherwise, which will be a difficult job considering the fact that the victim and the defendant have come to an agreement.
After the State Oversight Committee found damages to the state worth 800mln by the Yerevan State University administration, the latter's director and the SOC chief got into a public argument.
The director filed a complaint with Ethics Committee against the SOC chief for an unprofessional conduct. The Ethics Committee has examined, and agreed that SOC chief violated ethics rules for ranking officials.
The SOC chief will dispute it in the court. He sarcastically said the Ethics Committee has finally decided to do its job and go after public officials, which he considers an achievement.
Several employees of Agriculture Ministry are accused of abusing their powers and mismanagement on 2015, which resulted in losses for state. In the same case, the prosecutors also found that FLASH gas stations network owed the state 111mln. The funds have been recovered.
On 2015, the gov subsidized fuel for some farmers. 55 AMD for 1 liter was the expected price the gov wanted to pay. The Ministry workers, however, gave the contract to FLASH and paid it 88 AMD for 1 liter. In another similar instance, FLASH itself is accused of smaller-scale machinations. They have recovered the overpaid 111mln.
The medical examination has showed that Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan doesn't have a disease which will make his detention impossible. He is accused of stealing army products, lands, and embezzling billions of Drams.
Kotayk governor's office audited the Nor Gyugh municipality and revealed several violations and a possible abuse of power by the administration which resulted in 10mln in damages to the state.
The directors of High Voltage Grid electric grid organization are charged with embezzlement and abuse of power. The police says the admins disassembled 24KM cables on March 2018, and instead of sending it to storage, stole it.
During today's PM office meeting, the government decided to lower the maximum student loan interest rates from 12% to 9%, and increase the maximum loan the students can take from 450k to 700k annually.
There are 10 banks that provide student loans. As of January 2019, 14000 loans worth 4.2bln were provided.
As part of educational reforms, ministries have decided to ban the advertisement of pre-made essays and dissertations, which many students buy instead of writing one themselves. An MP suggested implementing an electronic mechanisms that scan and identify identical essays. There are instances when a student uses a copy machine to copy their essay, and the company that owns the copy machine secretly saves the essay then sells it to someone else.
It is also proposed to make the work easier for the students to discourage cheating.
The government has rejected a BHK proposal to allow Parliament MPs to schedule meetings in the offices of companies which provide public services.
Justice Minister Zeynalyan justified the rejection by saying the law currently states that everyone has the right to know what the public officials are up to and related documents, and cites something that I don't understand which he says is the reason why we can't have the BHK's amendment to the law.
(nice try Gago?)
The government reject another BHK proposal, which would set administrative penalties for government and other public organization members, for "hindering" (vague term) the work of Parliament MPs.
Justice Minister is against it because the MPs have abilities to raise their concerns on the Parliament floor. Pashinyan said MPs already have some legal oversight over government members, and "hindering" the way is described by BHK is a political problem and not a legal one.
Justice Minister says the amount of food aid that prison inmates' relatives send to them has dramatically decreased due to the increase in quality of food in the facilities. This reduces the financial burden on the relatives, says Artak Zeynalyan.
The government will lease the a HayFilm studio building to an entertainment industry company for 15 years, for a 800k/month fee. The company is also required to invest $3.5mln Euros within 5 years on improving the movie production facility.
The government has approved the proposal (yet to be voted by MPs) to add a new holiday to the calendar. The last Saturday of April will be the Citizen's Day, or on Sunday if the Saturday matches April 24th.
The addition is related to the peaceful revolution of 2018 and the subsequent establishment of democracy in Armenia. The government says it isn't directly about the revolution itself, but rather a citizen empowerment day.
HHK Edward Shawarmazanov isn't happy about it. He suggested to rename Yerevan to Nikolashen. 🍕
The Defense Ministry is looking into the possibility of shortening the 2-year service for military conscripts if they spend most of the time on the front lines, and to increase the duration for those who serve away from borders.
Age requirement for paid soldiers could become stricter.
(If approved by the Ministry, then the government, then the Parliament).
The government has approved an amendment to the law proposed by the Nature Ministry to ban the construction of small hydro power plants on certain areas, rivers containing red book fauna, and rivers which are already over-burdened by drainage and currently lose more than 50% of their water.
Yerevan municipality plans to plant trees on the hills between Monument and Myasnikyan Avenue. It'll be irrigated with a water saving technology. Hopefully the area will no longer look like a post-apocalypse alien invasion battleground, in a few years.
Yerevan municipality's revenues will increase by 10bln on 2019. With these additional funds, it plans to increase the expenditure on kindergarten worker salaries by 1bln, kindergarten expansion by 400mln, street and road repairs 500mln, recreational zones and parks 340mln, tree planting 110mln, irrigation expansion 150mln, preserving cultural buildings 190mln. A lot more in the link..
Deputy Education Minister Arevik Anapiosyan is elected as a member of Council of Europe's Education board, becoming the first Armenian member in its history.
Some MPs have long accused Gazprom-Armenia (GA) of having too much "losses" in their financial declarations, which is transferred to consumers.
GA responds to criticism saying the losses due to inevitable technical problems (not accidents like large ruptures) were reduced to 96mln cubic meter on 2018, from 108 on 2017. This loss equals to 0.54% of volume. These are the technical losses from long range gas transfers.
As for technical losses during the gas distribution to residents, it reduced from 39 to 27mln cubic m. They blame these losses partially on gas meter inaccuracies in households, coupled with a bad winter cold. The losses on 2018 were reduced by 10%, says GA.
GA says they don't have enough money to invest on further reducing the losses. The ongoing negotiations with daddy Gazprom and Armenian government could give GA enough funds to do the reforms, says GA.
GA didn't mention numbers about the gas losses due to other "non-technical" accidents such as explosions and ruptures.
The government will give a temporary tax waiver to HHK MP-owned Eurostan Uyut Co. so it can make 700mln investments in home repair material production, which will create 40 new jobs with 260k avg salary. Annual production to be 19bln, 2bln of which to be exported to EAEU.
Japan has issued 43mln aid to pregnant women in Armenia who suffer from STDs.
Public announcement. ArmNews, Tert.am and Lav Radio were recently purchased by HHK MPs. Their new director is Serj Sargsyan's deputy press secretary.
The network is mainly about news, and hosts the popular comedy show ArmComedy. (the two cringe comedians who met Conan O'Brian)
Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b3vvip/anticorruption_mar212019_electric_grid_boss/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|