A Cabinet sitting was held today, chaired by Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Before proceeding to the agenda, the acting Prime Minister issued a number of instructions.
Concerned about the need to ensure improved access to medicines for the population, Karen Karapetyan stated in part, “Our surveys have shown that even the major settlements are facing the problem of uninterrupted drug supply. This situation is unacceptable and causes problems for both our citizens and tourists.”
To this end, Minister of Healthcare Levon Altunyan was given a month’s time to explore the possibility of having round-the-clock pharmacies working without days off. The Minister was asked to submit proposals on the best distribution scheme around the country. Karen Karapetyan told him to negotiate with the existing pharmacy networks or individual drug-stores and submit proposals for ensuring the availability of drug-stores open after normal closing hours or on holiday days.
“In fact, attention has to be paid to all the regions, though the problem is especially exacerbated in tourist areas. Pleas pay special attention to tourism centers,” the Acting Prime Minister said.
Karen Karapetyan next addressed the bottlenecks faced in the expertise of safety standards, after which he referred to the problem of real estate standing idle nationwide, including the areas adjacent to Lake Sevan and downtown Yerevan.
The meeting amended a previous government decree in a bid to lift the restrictions on the purchase of farm machinery by economic entities in the framework of the State leasing support program. The amendment will help create better working conditions for domestic farmers.
The Government endorsed the proposal submitted by IDAS LLC on the launch of an agricultural machinery plant, which will provide quality services to farmers.
According to another amendment, the State Revenue Committee’s charter and staff structure will be reformed. In particular, it is planned to dissolve the (territorial) tax inspectorates and create 3 separate divisions instead, which will be part of the structural units of a higher tax authority. The customs authority, too, shall be subject to organizational changes. The number of customs houses will be reduced. They will be incorporated with the higher tax authority as part of its operational units. This will lead to the reduction of 483 staff positions.
The meeting approved the procedure for conducting electronic auctions and the list of goods, works and services purchased through electronic auctions. The Government approved a bill on exclusive VAT exemption for military products imported from the Russian Federation for the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia under the (intergovernmental) agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation. The bill will help create an appropriate legal framework.
The Executive next approved a set of amendments to the law On Funded Pensions and related laws, which aims to increase the efficiency of implementing the functions of the authorized entity. If approved, the bill will ensure the realization of the rights of the employee pension legislation for the realization of international servants’ right to pension based on contributions made to the account of the budget structure.
In conclusion, the Government approved a national strategy to deal with the adverse effects of aging and ensure adequate social protection for the elderly and a relevant action plan for 2017-2021. The strategy aims to create a favorable and healthy environment for elderly people and ensure their active and dignified aging process.