Seda Ghukasyan

Prime Minister Pashinyan Calls for "Baby Boom" in Armenia

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called for a baby boom in Armenia during a cabinet meeting today to review a proposal by Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Maneh Tandilyan to raise the one-time payment to parents having a second child from 50,000 to 150,000 drams.

Tandilyan argued that the increase of 100,000 drams ($206) would prompt families to have a second child and thus ameliorate Armenia’s demographic crisis.

When Tandilyan told the cabinet members that the birthrate in the country is dropping, Prime Minister Pashinyan turned to Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan and joked that Tandilyan has actually meant a drop in the birth of baby boys.

“And let them quickly reach the age of eighteen,” Pashinyan said, referring to the age when males are conscripted into the army.

In response, Tonoyan said he’d rather see the government paying more attention to promoting the birth of a third and fourth child.

“Yes, but there’s a technical problem. If there’s no second child, there can’t be a third or fourth, unless some new technical innovation comes along,” Pashinyan joked.

He then asked the cabinet members how many children each had.

The cabinet then approved Tandilyan’s proposal and an additional one to double the payment in the case of twins.