Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian on Tuesday added his voice to opposition criticism of the government’s five-year policy program, saying that it is too vague.
“This is not a program of an economic revolution. We can’t vote for it unless it is amended,” he told reporters at the start of parliament debates on the 70-page program.
Tsarukian said that the document does not specify “sources of funding, time frames and mechanisms” for a significant improvement of living standards promised by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s government.
“There are no figures on what sums of money, from which sources will be invested in 2019 and in which time frames and through which mechanisms that will be done,” he said. “Any government program requires funding.”
Other opposition politicians and commentators have also said that the program is short on specifics. They point to few socioeconomic targets that have been set by it for the next five years.
The program says that the Armenian economy will grow by at least 5 percent annually thanks to government efforts to improve the business environment, spur exports and attract more foreign investment. It promises “substantial” decreases in poverty and unemployment.
Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian indicated last week that the government will set more detailed targets for various spheres after the program is approved by the parliament.
Tsarukian’s BHK is the largest parliamentary opposition force, holding 26 of the 132 seats in the National Assembly. Pashinian’s My Step bloc controls 88 seats.