YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian pushed through the Armenian parliament on Tuesday his coalition government’s five-year plan of actions that promises good governance, continued economic growth and a sharp reduction in poverty.
The National Assembly voted by 94 to 7, with 7 abstentions, for the program just days after it was approved and unveiled by ministers.
The detailed program commits the government to ensuring an annual economic growth rate of at least eight percent and cutting the proportion of Armenia’s living below the official poverty line from the current 30 percent to 12 percent by 2012. It describes national security, sustainable development, good governance and increased public spending on social programs and education as the chief government priorities. The document also envisages the elimination of a huge development gap between Yerevan and the rest of the country.
“The document is quite ambitious and will require maximum concentration from all employees of state bodies,” Sarkisian told the overwhelmingly loyal lawmakers.
The goals laid out are supposed to be achieved through what officials call “second-generation reforms.” One of their main objectives is the strengthening of business competition and a fight against widespread corruption.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation faction voted for the government plan, however one of its bloc members, Ara Nranian said that the party had some reservations on the government plan, especially as it related to Armenia’s economic growth.
“We are convinced that Armenia’s future economic growth and stability cannot only hinge on increased construction and the service industry,” Nranian said, adding that his party viewed the export of goods and services forecast as presented by the government.
Nranian also emphasized the need to fight against shadow economy and corruption in Armenia, saying that economic development and growth was dependent on that.