YEREVAN, October 23. /ARKA/. On Tuesday, Armenian National Assembly started discussing a bill that proposes that the minimum wage should be raised on January 1, 2013 to 35,000 drams from the present 32,500.
This bill prompted criticism from some parliament members who consider this rise too slight.
In particular, Naira Zohrabyan, secretary of Prosperous Armenia party’s faction in the National Assembly, found it illogical that the size of the floor wage is far smaller than that of the monthly subsistence, which, according to the National Statistical Service, amounted to more than 53,000 drams in late June.
Her fellow partisan, Mikael Melkumyan, who is deputy chairman of the National Assembly’s economic committee, said that the government expects a seven-percent GDP growth this year against the 4.2-percent growth projected in the 2012 budget.
“Taking into account such glowing prospects, I don’t think the budget is so inflexible to bar the government to increase the minimum wage to 50,000 drams, for example,” he said.
Finance Minister Vache Gabrielyan, who presented the bill to lawmakers, said that this is the amount the government can afford to prevent layoffs and shady dealings in the private sector.
“Taking into consideration that in its five-year program the government projects at least two-fold increase to 65,000 drams, this is just our first step,” he said. “The minimum wage is planned to be raised to 45,000 drams in 2014 and to 55,000 drams in 2015.”
Zharangutiun (Heritage) and Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Dashnaktsutiun parties’ MPs slammed the bill as well. The debates are under way. ($1 – AMD 405.76). --0--