A regular Cabinet meeting was held, chaired by Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.
Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister issued a number of instructions. Referring to the quality of imported petrol and diesel fuel, the Prime Minister said, “Our studies have identified several problems regarding the quality of gasoline and diesel fuel. The problem is often conditioned by inaccurate definition of fuel types and some other shortfalls. As a result, significant damage is caused to consumers and the market in general.”
Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan gave the Minister of Economic Development and Investments a month’s time to submit to the Government Staff a relevant proposal on liquid fuel-related permits based on clear definition of fuel brands and taking into account the actual structure of the domestic consumer market in order to curb abuses in the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel and improve quality control. Karen Karapetyan instructed those responsible to identify the existing problems and develop a clear-cut preventive methodology jointly with the State Revenue Committee.
With reference to the mortgage realization procedures currently enforced by the banks and lending institutions, the Head of Government stated in part, “The applicable regulations provide banks and credit institutions with a wide range of opportunities to act at their discretion in the process of realizing mortgaged property because there are no clear deadlines established for the start of the process of property seizure after notification. This is very disconcerting in view of the fact that where the pledged value exceeds the liability secured, the banks or credit institutions in some cases do not sell the collateral until the moment when due to the fines accrued as a result of overdue liabilities the borrower’s total indebtedness turns out to be equal to or even exceed the value of the collateral.”
To rule out the recurrence of situations like this, the Prime Minister instructed the Minister of Justice to submit proposals on establishment of precise deadlines for starting the process of selling the collateral and develop clear-cut mechanisms aimed at suspending the fines in case of infringement.
The Government approved a program of State support for the lease of agricultural machinery in the Republic of Armenia, the main purpose of which is to allow broader access to affordable machinery through leasing arrangements, in particular. In accordance with another decision, the Ministry of Agriculture will be allocated money to subsidize interest rates for leased machinery and equipment.
The meeting amended the government decision of September 22, 2015 in a bid to streamline the procedure for approval of maintenance cost estimates for commercial attachés, trade representatives and customs attachés of the Republic of Armenia and the permanent representative of the Republic of Armenia to the World Trade Organization.
To improve the business environment in Armenia and minimize the risks of corruption, the Executive amended one of its previous decisions. The amendment recommends that the Ministry of Justice-affiliated Agency of State Register of Legal Entities should be given the possibility of providing a variety of paid services.
To provide insurance companies with the legal possibility of having their branches or agents at customs checkpoints, the Government amended a preciously adopted decision.
Another decision was passed, under which the citizens of the United Arab Emirates shall be exempt from the requirement of obtaining entry visas for visiting the Republic of Armenia. The new regulations allow UAE nationals to stay in Armenia for over 180 days within a year without having to get an entry visa.