2021 July 12
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 government raises taxes on copper and molybdenum miners-exporters / "Sovereign Wealth" Fund" to be formed / copper processing
- 3 national hero & benefactor Eduardo Eurnekian discusses large scale investments in Armenia
- 4 average nominal salaries
- 5 government expects annual 7% economic growth between 2022-2026
- 6 Armenia joins scientific GLOBE initiative
- 7 Constitutional Court will not summon president Sarkissian to explain why he chose June 20 as election day / Court hears other arguments
- 8 update: alleged voter bribery involving provincial mayors and Kocharyan-ARF alliance
- 9 election fraud & voter bribery: 110 people were detained before and during the elections
- 10 Electoral Commission authorizes felony investigation against ex-mayor of Meghri
- 11 anti-corruption: investigators audit Goris (Syunik) municipal finances
- 12 anti-corruption: cops bust a fellow cop
- 13 cop is found not guilty of beating Sasna Tsrer members in jail
- 14 ex-NSS chief Argishti Qyaramyan appointed as the head of Investigative Committee
- 15 reforms in Competition Protection Commission
- 16 MOD denied Azeri claims that Armenians opened fire at Azeri positions on Gegharkunik borders
- 17 ambassadors of U.S., France, and Russia did not join Aliyev's trip to Shushi
- 18 another Azeri resident explodes on a landmine in Artsakh's occupied Varanda (Fizuli) region
- 19 Russian peacekeepers accompany dozens of Artsakh residents to Amaras monastery near the borders
- 20 Istanbul police detain two men for dancing on an Armenian church's walls
- 21 Artsakh is building a new village to house IDPs
- 22 fundraising begins to build Armenia's first airport for drones
- 23 digitization in Migration Services
- 24 Diaspora Commissioner Sinanyan met French Armenians
- 25 Armenia celebrates Vardavar holiday
- 26 severe heatwave causes 80% drop in some river discharge, causes electricity issues
- 27 two more residents of Isahakyan (Shirak) are hospitalized with skin anthrax
- 28 UPSHIFT program was organized in Spitak
- 29 Yerevan municipality discusses garbage, elevators, transport, taco trucks
- 30 polls: would you call the police if you witnessed domestic violence?
- 31 COVID stats since Saturday
- 32 108,000 vaccinations so far
- 33 long line was formed to receive a COVID vaccine in Yerevan
- 34 COVID tourism?
- 35 video: Syunik and Vayots Dzor farmers organized a sheep-shearing festival in Tatev
- 36 legendary Greco-Roman wrestler Arsen Julfalakyan is retiring
- 37 yesterday's news
- 38 end of report
- 39 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
News - Jul/12/2021: Govt. raises taxes on miners; copper; new Sovereign Wealth Fund __ Eurnekian's investments __ Drone airport __ Economic plan & avg. salaries __ Constitutional Court discusses elections __ Voter bribery & arrests __ Cop busted __ Competition Protection Commission __ Artsakh news
Your 13-minute Saturday-Monday recap in 3387 words.
government raises taxes on copper and molybdenum miners-exporters / "Sovereign Wealth" Fund" to be formed / copper processing
Economy Minister Qerobyan: considering the fact that the Republic of Armenia's entrails is state property, and the value of copper and molybdenum have jumped in the past year, the existing royalty system is outdated and does not ensure a fair distribution of profits between Armenian citizens and miners.
Besides that, our state is facing serious challenges and we need more resources to address them. The additional taxation will generate ֏30b throughout 2021. [talks about Russia enacting similar measures instructed by Premier Mishustin] //
Government report: beginning in April 2020, the copper prices increased to $7.5k and then $9.2k. The majority of Armenia's copper mines are profitable at $5.3k. Even after the additional taxation, they will remain very profitable. Molybdenum has been stable at $24k since 2018. The proposed tax increase will work only when the global prices are high.
The revenues from additional taxation will be used to develop the processing industry and the strategic assets in the mining sector.
More specifically, we plan to deepen the value chain of copper processing and establish a high-purity cathode copper production, followed by the development of an adjacent copper ecosystem.
We also plan to invest in technologies to make mining more efficient while being more eco-friendly.
This tax policy is a temporary solution before the entire field can undergo an in-depth review with the participation of various agencies.
Long-term, we plan to review the taxation policies and to create a "Sovereign Wealth Fund" investment foundation, which will receive the revenues deriving from the aforementioned reforms. Many countries already have such Funds that manage the revenues collected from mining. //
Tags: #CopperTax #tax #miner
national hero & benefactor Eduardo Eurnekian discusses large scale investments in Armenia
Pashinyan hosted the Armenian-Argentinian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian today.
Pashinyan: Welcome. Glad to see you again. Such visits are important because you're one of the most prominent diasporan investors in Armenia. Your moves always predict the overall investment attitude in Armenia.
We recently won the elections with "There is Future" slogan, and I hope your visit is also aimed at restoring optimism. We value your personal role a lot.
Eduardo Eurnekian: congrats on the victory. I am very moved by your words. I did not want to delay this trip [COVID delay]. I wanted to come quickly and congratulate you on the victory. It's important. We have wanted your victory from the beginning [at least that's how his translator said it].
We're to invest in multiple fields in Armenia. We're currently negotiating with a bank. We see a great tourism opportunity. We will soon present airport construction projects.
My cousin Martin, who managed it all, will soon visit Armenia to meet the person appointed by you for the investment discussions. [praises their successful wine investments and Armenian wine being sold in Europe] //
Pashinyan and Eurnekian then discussed the programs by Armenia International Airports, the manager of Yerevan and Gyumri airports. They discussed upcoming investment programs by Eurnekian's other businesses.
average nominal salaries
+7.9% from last year.
-0.1% from last month (-1% private, +1.7% public)
֏197.3k ($398) average. ֏169.9k ($343) public. ֏210.2 ($424) private.
government expects annual 7% economic growth between 2022-2026
Today the executive branch discussed state finances and a 2022-2026 program to reduce the debt burden.
Government said: to achieve 7% growth we need an efficient investment strategy and to direct the investments to the export sector of the economy, towards technologies and infrastructure, ensuring high productivity of capital.
To achieve the 7% growth, we need a 12.5% real average annual growth in հիմնական միջոցներ (fixed assets?). This will raise the share of fixed assets in GDP by 5.4%, in 2026 vs 2019.
We need to increase the productivity of capital with the help of technologies, improvements in the business and investment field, raising workforce quality, and education. For this, we need an average of 5.3% increase in ընդհանուր գործոնային արտադրողականություն (total-factor productivity?).
With strong economic growth, we will be able to reduce the debt burden below 60%.
The economic growth and taxation policies will improve the revenue/GDP ratio, allow for the collection of additional revenues, thus giving an opportunity for more long-term investments for future economic growth. We expect a continuous increase in capital expenditures, the share of which will reach 6% by 2026.
[more in the link below]
Armenia joins scientific GLOBE initiative
Armenia becomes the 126th state to join the educational, scientific, and environmental GLOBE program. Armenian students and scientists will work with international colleagues from the US-based GIO and Czechia-based GLOBE office.
The U.S. ambassador Tracey and USAID representative met the Education Minister Dumanyan to discuss a partnership with NASA and GLOBE, to allow Armenians to better study the global environment.
Constitutional Court will not summon president Sarkissian to explain why he chose June 20 as election day / Court hears other arguments
One of the election complaints filed by Kocharyan and Serj (K&S) stated that Sarkissian had a window with several weeks for choosing the election day and that he picked a day that he knew would be beneficial for Pashinyan, claim K&S.
The ruling QP party and several judges opposed summing Sarkissian, while judge Hrayr Tovmasyan wanted him to appear and answer the questions.
The panel of judges ended up voting against summoning Sarkissian after finding that he doesn't have a status of a party in this trial.
Judge Tovmasyan again asked his fellow judges to summon Sarkissian, stating that he made an error in his first petition. The court rejected his second petition, too.
Kocharyan wants the court to either schedule a second round of elections or to change how the MP mandates are distributed in Parliament. They read their arguments and presented what they believe is sufficient evidence of "widespread abuse".
The head of the Electoral Commission disagreed with K&S, saying the recorded violations were not widespread and not serious enough to influence the outcome of elections. Foreign and local observers gave a similar verdict earlier.
The court heard arguments about the election day incident during which the electricity was briefly cut off in some polling stations because of an outage in Georgia. At the time, observers said it had no impact on the vote. The boxes were protected and observed by representatives of each party, said others. One of Kocharyan's allies, who leads a smaller party, claimed that they themselves did not have observers in those polling stations [they were mainly small] so they could not have known whether violations were committed or not. Prosecutors said 13 polling stations lost power, 7 of which took place during the voting process, but it "did not affect the process because backup batteries were used".
Another topic that was discussed was the heated rhetoric during the campaign. Each side brought examples of "hate speech". The court summoned a prosecutor for Q&A. The latter said neither side "incited violence" with their words.
Kocharyan's ally claimed that some diasporan Armenians were allowed to vote "illegally".
The court summoned the head of public TV regulator to answer questions about how TV outlets handled the coverage during the campaign.
The Justice Minister accused Kocharyan and allies of abusing the trial process to use it as a platform for "political statements".
Kocharyan's ally cited a rumor circulated by a media outlet claiming that a physical fight took place between Pashinyan and the Electoral Commission chief Mukuchyan. The latter called it fake news and said he has never spoken with Pashinyan.
Judges asked the Electoral Commission whether they believe Pashinyan violated the silent day rules [the existing rules, before they get stricter beginning next elections] on the election eve when he went on Facebook Live and asked people to "do their duties and vote". The Commission chief said they found the video violated the rules, but the court later said it wasn't.
During the hearing, Kocharyan's ally claimed that the number of disabled individuals increased by 15,000 after the war. The actual number is 1,267, says a fact-checker.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1057878.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1057882.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1057887.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1057890.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1057914.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1057920.html https://factor.am/392328.html https://factor.am/392346.html https://youtu.be/yseUbagywig https://factor.am/392424.html https://factor.am/392441.html https://factor.am/392447.html https://factor.am/392453.html https://factor.am/392672.html https://factor.am/392716.html https://factor.am/392804.html https://factor.am/392898.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218329 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218337 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/218381 https://fip.am/16460
update: alleged voter bribery involving provincial mayors and Kocharyan-ARF alliance
The court has agreed to jail Qajaran (Syunik) mayor Manvel Paramazyan for two months before his trial. He is accused of committing voter bribery and large-scale fraud as part of a group.
Paramazyan is among several mayors allied with the former regime who have been charged before and after the elections with voter bribery, including for allegedly abusing municipal resources meant for low-income residents to bribe the voters. Another mayor, from Vorotan, was also arrested.
In Goris, several residents implicated in the bribery investigation complained that they were pressured by investigators to confess that they received the aid in exchange for a vote. The group said they did not take bribes. [accepting a bribe during elections is also a felony in Armenia]
election fraud & voter bribery: 110 people were detained before and during the elections
20 were representatives of the Kocharyan-ARF alliance. 39 from Serj-Vanetsyan alliance. 51 were other [non-member] individuals who participated in the elections or other party members.
29 locations were raided, including 7 belonging to Kocharyan-ARF, 20 belonging to Serj-Vanetsyan, 2 others.
Learn more about Mkhitar Zakaryan here. He resigned last week to become an MP as part of the Kocharyan-ARF alliance. He was already under a felony investigation for being one of the alleged organizers of the Syunik riots during which Pashinyan's vehicle fleet was attacked. Earlier this year, his family's business was accused of violating rules while conducting business in a customs facility.
The Electoral Commission has authorized prosecutors to press charges against Zakaryan, who will soon become an MP and likely receive an MP's immunity [which can still be revoked]. According to media reports, Zakaryan is accused of embezzling municipal funds.
Zakaryan is one of many mayors of Syunik accused of corruption. The opponents of the former regime claim the province was plagued with "deep-rooted corruption" which got worse during the Serj-era Governor Liska, while the members of the former regime describe the arrests as "political persecution".
Zakaryan was arrested later today and charged under Articles 308.2 (abuse of power) and 314.1 (forgery).
anti-corruption: investigators audit Goris (Syunik) municipal finances
Investigative Committee said: on 23 March 2021, the State Control Service audited the 2016-2021 documents to see if the municipality used truthful information to receive federal funding.
The audit revealed numerous violations in construction capital contracts, some projects being certified as being completed while they were not, intentional over-charging during construction works, waste of resources during construction.
Moreover, tax-related laws were violated during municipal property transactions.
Several Goris municipality officials were invited for questioning but they refused to appear. A felony investigation has been launched. //
anti-corruption: cops bust a fellow cop
Police report says: a traffic policeman promised to give a Class B drivers' license in exchange for a $200 bribe, and $300 from another resident.
A driver without insurance had an accident. The policeman took a bribe in exchange for changing the vehicles' positions and meddling with the scene in other ways to help the driver.
He stopped a vehicle with illegally tinted windows. The driver had no insurance. He agreed to pretend that the driver was another person.
A child drove the car and slammed it against a parked vehicle. The policeman agreed to ignore the incident if they repair the damaged car.
A felony case is launched against the policeman. //
cop is found not guilty of beating Sasna Tsrer members in jail
Sasna Tsrer group took a police station hostage in 2016. In 2017, four of its members claimed that a policeman beat them up behind the bars. The court found not enough evidence to convict the [now former] police battalion commander Armen Ghazaryan.
ex-NSS chief Argishti Qyaramyan appointed as the head of Investigative Committee
Last week he received a Medal of Courage for his service during the 2020 war.
reforms in Competition Protection Commission
CPC official: before 31 May 2021, the law was not regulating the institute of accepting conclusions regarding the economic competition. The new law describes the procedures.
Q: What are the grounds for launching CPC investigation?
A petition from a relevant body, or we can initiate it ourselves. There are no fees for filing an application.
Q: who can ask CPC to launch an investigation?
State agencies, their officials, and private businesses.
Q: what do you investigate?
The signed agreement, certain actions, etc. We have a preventative power to investigate before an agreement is signed. The investigation takes 1-2 months.
MOD denied Azeri claims that Armenians opened fire at Azeri positions on Gegharkunik borders
MOD: we did not open fire. As we said earlier, we perform actions if necessary only to counteract the opponent. //
ambassadors of U.S., France, and Russia did not join Aliyev's trip to Shushi
Aliyev invited 46 ambassadors and UN officials to visit the occupied Shushi over the weekend. The Minsk Co-chairs chose not to participate. Some Azeri media outlets describe it as a diplomatic démarche.
chief editor of Lebanese Azdak newspaper: the trio's refusal to visit Shushi was obviously coordinated. This indicates that the Minsk Group co-chairs believe the status of Shushi is still negotiable. They plan to resume the negotiations. I believe this is more than just Shushi, it's about the NKAO territories. //
another Azeri resident explodes on a landmine in Artsakh's occupied Varanda (Fizuli) region
Russian peacekeepers accompany dozens of Artsakh residents to Amaras monastery near the borders
Istanbul police detain two men for dancing on an Armenian church's walls
A Turkish ruling party MP condemned the "disrespectful behavior".
Artsakh is building a new village to house IDPs
The residents of occupied Sghnakh and three other villages will be relocated to a new village that's being built near the Astghashen village (Askeran). This area was chosen because of its similarities with the occupied areas.
fundraising begins to build Armenia's first airport for drones
It will be named after Karen Vardanyan, a prominent tech expert who passed away last year. They need $110,000 to launch the project. $20,000 was collected on the first day.
They are building a runway for drones in Lori's Lernapat village.
digitization in Migration Services
Beginning in 2022, Armenian businesses will be able to hire foreign workers in one month instead of the current two, thanks to the digitization of the system that handles documentation.
Diaspora Commissioner Sinanyan met French Armenians
Sinanyan met Ara Toranyan, the editor of Nouvelles d'Arménie and the co-chair of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF).
They discussed CCAF's activities and the Armenian community. "CCAF will always stand by the Armenian state and people," said Toranyan.
Armenia celebrates Vardavar holiday
Three Lake Sevan public beaches opened their ~~doors~~ sands ahead of Sunday's Vardavar holiday, in which Armenians splash water at each other (but mostly at pretty girls). The Nature Minister asked the beach visitors to pick up their trash from the beaches before leaving.
The Chuch marked the beginning of Պայծառակերպության տոն, one of the five major Apostolic holidays, which is the Christian version of pagan Vardavar.
The French ambassador was seen playing with water in the park.
severe heatwave causes 80% drop in some river discharge, causes electricity issues
Infrastructure Minister Papikyan: the year started good but we began facing water shortage later. The water supply of rivers serving in different directions saw an 80% drop.
As a result, the existing water reserves deplete, in addition to causing electricity issues. You are aware that the Metsamor nuclear plant shut down recently for its lengthiest repair. Electricity cuts in various locations can negatively affect water pumps. We're trying to manage it.
A commission was formed tasked with ensuring access to water and more efficient management during the drought. There are objective complaints by farmers about lack of water in usually-irrigated, but also non-irrigated lands. //
two more residents of Isahakyan (Shirak) are hospitalized with skin anthrax
Two more women came forward over the weekend. They purchased infected meat from the neighbor. They developed the signs early on but kept it secret until the wounds got worse. They thought they could treat themselves at home.
There are eight patients currently receiving care. Two others were discharged recently.
UPSHIFT program was organized in Spitak
It promotes adolescent development and their involvement in their community. It was launched in 2019 in Gyumri and was held in Spitak this year.
The kids split into groups and work on various ideas (parks, architecture, libraries. etc). The best ones will be chosen and financed.
Yerevan municipality discusses garbage, elevators, transport, taco trucks
The city has been sealing the vertical garbage pathways in large apartment complex buildings so the residents will use the bins instead. It has been done in 860 buildings so far. This can help address the nasty smell, rat infestation, and other sanitary issues.
Lately, the city has been removing the illegally parked "taco trucks" that sell random staff from trailers. The city began requiring permits. 40 units were towed away. Open-air food sellers will be found and removed by local administrators.
The city has demolished 47 illegally built shopping kiosks since June 22.
This year the new elevators will be installed in apartment buildings where wounded soldiers live. 54 buildings selected so far; the elevators have been purchased.
The bus and microbus drivers are being closely watched to improve road safety. The city has vowed to respond to residents' complaints quickly and to prevent drivers from smoking behind the wheel.
polls: would you call the police if you witnessed domestic violence?
26% yes, if I witness it on the streets
19% yes, if I witness it in my own or a relative's home
17% yes, if I witness it in my neighbor's home
26% of women think it's a good idea to report
74% of respondents said it's the family's personal issue
24% don't want to deal with police reports.
10% are ready to personally intervene and help the family
COVID stats since Saturday
13,699 tested. 324 infected. 253 healed. 7 deaths. 3073 active.
108,000 vaccinations so far
Among the vaccinated are legendary poet Yeghishe Charents's daughter Anahit and granddaughter Gohar.
long line was formed to receive a COVID vaccine in Yerevan
People lined up in Northern Avenue to get a shot in the mobile booth. Many were tourists.
An Iranian-Armenian visitor said the Iranian public doesn't trust the vaccines in Iran; they think it could be counterfeit. He doesn't know how much it costs in Iran but he was happy to get it for free in Armenia. He plans to get the THIRD shot in a few months.
One reason for a long line might be the upcoming changes that bar foreign citizens (non-residents) from receiving a free vaccine unless they spend at least 10 days in Armenia. It's done to free up resources for locals. The rules go into effect soon.
Iranian social media user shared a clip "Iranians flocking to Armenia to get covid vaccine celebrating like this:"
Economy Minister: we will have a 319% tourism growth despite what pessimists say. This is a good time to think seriously about medical tourism in Armenia.
video: Syunik and Vayots Dzor farmers organized a sheep-shearing festival in Tatev
Shinuhayr resident Arthur Vardazaryan was the winner of the 2021 competition.
legendary Greco-Roman wrestler Arsen Julfalakyan is retiring
Julfalakyan leaves with Olympic silver and the title of World and Euro champion. "All good things come to an end," said the athlete, who has been competing in the past 23 years. 👏👏👏
Перевод на русский by Impossible-Ad-
end of report
The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/oj1i1y/news_jul122021_govt_raises_taxes_on_miners_copper/
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