Monday, April 22 2019 16:56
Ani Mshetsyan

Ararat Mirzoyan: "Prosperous Armenia" won enough votes at the  elections, and we cannot ignore its position

Ararat Mirzoyan: "Prosperous Armenia" won enough votes at the  elections, and we cannot ignore its position

ArmInfo. In the new Armenia, businessmen have no need to become lawmakers, parliament President Ararat Mirzoyan assured journalists.

According to him, previously businessmen sought to parliament, so as  to protect their business: "Now there is no such need". In response  to a remark that there are similar trends now, for example, the  leader of "Prosperous Armenia", entrepreneur Gagik Tsarukyan lobbies  his cement business, Mirzoyan noted that the PAP received enough  votes during the elections and its position cannot be ignored.  In  turn, MP from the Prosperous Armenia faction Mikayel Melkumyan did  not agree with the fact that they protect the interests of Tsarukyan.  "This is not true. Our faction protects the interests of the citizens  of Armenia. The case is in the workplace. After all, Gagik Tsarukyan  may have more profit if he has fewer employees and pay less wages.  But he understands that this will lead to a reduction in jobs in the  country, and whole families will lose their income. "We believe that  this is unacceptable. We are defending jobs in Armenia," concluded  Melkumyan.

To note, after lengthy and emotional discussions, the National  Assembly of Armenia, at its meeting on April 19, adopted in its first  reading amendments to the laws "On State Duty" and "On Notification  about Activities". According to the Minister of Economic Development  and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Tigran Khachatryan, the  package proposes to establish a state duty in the amount of 22  thousand drams per ton of imported cement for a period of one year -  until April 2020. Thus, the interests of domestic producers will be  protected. As for clinker, the government will return to the second  reading on the question of imposing a duty on this product. The term  for applying the new rate for imported cement, according to the  minister, is associated with possible price changes for this product  in neighboring markets and the modernization of domestic enterprises,  which will lead to lower production costs. Having established a new  duty, the minister continued, equal conditions will be created on the  market, both for producers and importers of cheaper cement from  neighboring countries, first of all, from Iran. He noted that imports  are growing much faster than local production.

Thus, in 2018, local production grew by 53%, and imports - 3.5-fold,  that is, imports are growing much faster. Of the 680 thousand tons in  the Armenian market, 512 thousand were Armenian cement, 168 thousand  - imported. Tigran Khachatryan also said that according to the  Ministry's research, the average cost of cement from local  enterprises is 41-42 thousand drams per ton, or about $ 85- $ 90. At  the same time, cement in Iran is more than four times cheaper - $15-  $20. Redeployment to Armenia is estimated at $ 15 per ton. As a  result, on the Iranian border, in Meghri, Iranian cement costs only $  30, or about 15 thousand drams. Iranian cement plants are helped by  two factors. First, the country has very cheap gas, which can be up  to half the cost of cement. Secondly, the Iranian government  subsidizes local producers.  According to various estimates, in 2017  the state spent $ 168 million on this, the minister said. So that  Armenian factories could withstand such competition, it is proposed  to protect them with a duty. Thus, as the Minister noted, Armenian  enterprises will be able to withstand competition. It should be noted  that according to the data of the Statistical Committee of the  Republic of Armenia, in September 2018 cement production in Armenia  decreased by 23.34% and amounted to 44 thousand tons. In total, 401  thousand tons of cement were produced in January-September 2018  against 251 thousand tons in January-September 2017. To recall, in  Armenia there are two cement plants functioning - Ararat and Hrazdan,  as well as gadz plant, also producing cement. 

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