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2019 March 27

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Mar/27/2019: SOC uncovers water theft and abuse of power worth 1 billion..... A judge arrested for bribery..... Another former official confirms Meghri giveaway plan.... Government reports to Parliament.... Parliament Speaker's account frozen (clickbait)..... more stories blow....
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.


Parliament is Q/A-ing the Government.

PM says the representatives of the former regime roam on the Council of Europe hallways with napkins and shed tears every day, claiming Pashinyan administration is persecuting them. Pashinyan says few days ago the Council's rapporteurs submitted their findings to Council, and for the first time, they had zero problems with the government. Pashinyan says the number of Armenians seeking a refugee status in EU has dropped 3x on 2018.

On 2019, IRS will collect 40bln more than expected by the Parliamentary budget, predicts Pashinyan. "This hasn't happened in 9 years".

They plan to raise soldier and 38,000 teachers' salaries by 10% this year. 303km roads will be built and repaired.

10bln in additional funds for various subsidies for regional projects. Last year they spent 1.6bln on this.

Some of these subsidies are for farmers. Here is an example project: if a farmer spends 11mln to create a cattle-house with 10 cows, the government will refund 50% of the expenditures. 70% refund for bordering villagers. Or, the farmer can take a 11mln loan and the government will later annul 50% of it. The max subsidy for one project is 35mln, to assure the help goes towards small businesses.

400mln additional funds for the project that gives 350,000 students the ability to visit museums and theaters for free, 3 times annually.

Workers pay 1k from their salaries towards a military fund that helps the families of those who died on front lines. PM says they have made a decision to expand the group who qualifies for this aid. As of right now, only families of those who died after 2017 qualify. It's planned to move that date back to 2008.

Alcohol production (mainly from cognac) rose 30%, clothing up 15%, tobacco up 17%. Cognac exports were 14.7bln.

Industrial production rose 4.7% on February, after a 1.1% decline on January. This rise is despite the fact that two giant mines no longer operate (Alaverdi has issues with its bank, Amulsar is facing environmental examination which will be done in a few months), says PM. He says Alaverdi copper could very soon restart its operations.

Since 2019, trade up 13%, services up 17%, food production up 25%, gold jewelry exports up 75%.

PM also noted that they didn't break the back of former monopolies by completely forcing them out of business, but instead made it possible for others to compete. He mentioned how many monopolies (fuel, sugar, fruits) no longer control the vast majority of market share, but remain as prominent players.

PM said some villages still don't have a gas pipeline because calculations show that the amount of consumed gas would be so small, that it wasn't economically wise to make large investments to lay out gas pipelines, then add the cost of the construction to everyone else's gas bills. PM suggests alternative energy sources for these small settlements. Says similar projects have been done for greenhouse facilities. "Gas doesn't have to be the only energy source."

This year the government will implement wide scale agricultural insurance for the first time. It'll subsidy 50% of the insurance cost for farmers.

Transport Minister says they'll soon establish an online ticket purchasing system so you don't have to call the bus driver or someone else to reserve a seat to travel outside of city.

PM says $3.1 billion worth investments are being discussed as part of 89 plans at the moment. One of the businesses has promised to open a textile factory in Yerevan with 3,000 jobs.

They're working with Georgia to connect Ninotsminda GE to Bavra AM with the North-South highway in AM. This will make travel from Yerevan AM to Batumi GE shorter than from Batumi GE to Tbilisi GE. At the moment, the problem with these border roads is that in some instances the Armenian part is well made, but the Georgian part is in ruins, and vice versa, making the roads bad for serious trade. Other road and bridge projects are also being discussed with Georgia.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157602 - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157579 - - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157581 - - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157589 - - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157593 - - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157597 - - - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969139.html - - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969158.html - - - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969158.html - - - http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/266936 - - - http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/266943 - - - - http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/157644 --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969190.html ---- https://youtu.be/Wrt7Uh2o1N0?t=104

The Parliament has voted unanimously to approve the establishment of a minimum pension (regardless of work seniority). Also unanimously approves is the bill that limits on how many stocks a subsidiary company can buy from a parent company. Only 1 MP voted against the bill to ban the advertisement of pre-written essays for students who want to cheat.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157603

.......

Parliament voted 118-1 to approve the bilateral relations document between Iran and EAEU economic bloc. This will allow Armenian businesses to export meat and other products to Iran without paying hefty tariffs at the border.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969080.html

Former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan confirms former deputy Defense Minister Vahan Shirkhanyan's statement that Robert Kocharyan was willing to give Azeris Armenia's Meghri region, in exchange for Lachin. He says he's willing to present a document when the time comes.

He says there was a meeting in Sadarak between him, Rob, Heydar Aliyev and Azeri defense minister. After the meeting, Rob spoke with him and told him that the plan to give Meghri to Azerbaijan would be beneficial for Armenia's development, says Vagharshak. He expressed doubts about the plan, says V.H.

After October 27 and Vazgen's death, during several meetings with Azeris, the plan was also discussed but he says he came out against it during all meetings. He will reveal more "when the time arrives".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157595

The police has arrested a judge in Armavir for a large scale corruption and bribery. No details yet.

https://armlur.am/889168/?fbclid=IwAR0DRZ_AhJOHbkxCr360RazPKeLLPnieJxygaty1D4CcCfT79FL6YPleRfc

Earlier we learned that the director of School 27 of Gyumri was arrested for bribery. We have more details.

Education Ministry employees conducted checks on February, and discovered that several teachers received salaries despite not providing the classes to children. Director claimed he wasn't aware. His secretary, who was tasked with making sure teachers do their job, said the records showed that everything was fine.

Another employee of the school testified that the physics teacher went oversees on 2016-17 but continued to receive money.

Another teacher came forward and testified that she had to pay 1mln bribe to the director through the secretary in order to get a job.

The director is arrested.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157606

The State Oversight Committee and the police have busted several directors of water companies, as well as Water Committee workers, for conspiring to steal water without installing water meters, and other forms of falsifications. The damages reach 1 billion AMD.

The investigative committee continues the investigation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969178.html

First Lady Anna Hakobyan's City of Smiles Foundation has donated 250mln towards a cancer treatment for 120 children. Here is the list of donors:

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157598 - - - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157573

The government has increased the Human Rights Ombudsman's budget by 26mln. It is also given a few more oversight and rights.

http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/266933

Two kids from BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan's apartment complex building stole his bike lol. The kids were caught.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/157653

Japanese embassy has issued a 35mln grant to rebuild Agrarian University's greenhouse facility and make it "smart". Another 10mln was given to help the process of separating garbage from recyclables elsewhere.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969075.html - - - - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/969179.html

Yerevan municipality will install new trash bins around the city with separate compartments for paper, plastic, etc. It's part of "Recycle It" project. 130 public and private organizations are already a member of the initiative.

https://factor.am/136533.html

PM Pashinyan still hasn't paid off his dishwasher loan. He took a monthly 6k loan for several years instead of paying 250k up front, and is still paying for it.

Parliament speaker Mirzoyan responded saying he tried to buy a TV the same way but his loaning abilities were frozen by the IRS because he had an unpaid penalty from the past (he is being serious lol). Pashinyan jokes that Justice Minister Zeynalyan and Mirzoyan are digging a hole under one another. 🥤

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JbyNTdhgpM

1,000 new jobs to be created in Artsakh in 4 years, after "Vardanyan family" agrees to invest in a tobacco producing facility.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/157645

Former Finance Minister Aramyan has left the HHK party https://factor.am/136500.html

Arsenal plans to sell Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mehut Ozil. The reason is Arsenal is getting poor. Miki earns 180k pound sterling per week, while Ozil earns double the amount.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/157596

Iran-backed Houthi militants have invaded the south-western Saudi Arabia, overrunning several Saudi hills and causing the soldiers to flee. 10 Saudis were killed. The "Yemen war" is no longer within the Yemen borders.

NSFW https://youtu.be/W0abaXEXHcg?t=268


Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/b6cg73/anticorruption_mar272019_soc_uncovers_water_theft/

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