Grisha Balasanyan

MP Bagratyan to Government: "Go to Google Map and see how much land is devoted to grape growing"

Opposition MPs ripped the government’s proposed plans for the next five years, labelling it as having no connection to reality.

At today’s parliament session HAK MP Hrand Bagratyan said the nation was at a crucial juncture and that the government needed to focus on several main issues.

“In reality, the budget hasn’t grown. While it appears that it has increased from 600-700 billion to one trillion, when he deduct inflation we see it hasn’t grown,” said Bagratyan.

He described the government’s proposals as not comprising a serious government agenda for future growth. Bagratyan noted that the government must spell out how it will go about generating investment and show how savings will be transformed into increased investment.

“It shouldn’t be the objective of the government, for example, to promote tourism or build good hotels. Government isn’t in the business of building hotels,” he declared.

Bagratyan noted that Armenia’s mining industry must be better regulated as well as the country’s aviation sector.

He said that tickets from Armenia to Europe shouldn’t cost more than $350 and that even lower prices are possible.

“I would deregulate the aviation sector in five minutes,” Bagratyan declared.

He also ridiculed government statistics alleging that Armenia produces 241,000 tons of grapes and 812,000 tons of vegetables. Bagratyan claimed that such production figures exceeded the Soviet era, when the country’s agriculture was in much better shape, and were thus inflated.

“Switch on your computers and go to the Google Map page. Check out how much land is being allocated to grape growing. You’ll see it’s just 17,000 hectares. Do your homework and provide us with accurate statistics for a change,” Bagratyan said.