Armenia’s parliament backed on Tuesday a government proposal to raise the minimum wage in the country by more than 23 percent.
The government announced plans for such an increase in June. A bill drafted by it at the time would raise the minimum monthly wage from 55,000 drams to 68,000 drams ($143).
The National Assembly passed the bill unanimously.
Arkady Khachatrian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Bright Armenia Party, echoed government assurances that it will somewhat reduce poverty. “A working person must not live below the minimum consumer basket level,” he said.
According to government officials, the measure, effective from January 1, will benefit at least 80,000 workers across the country who earned 55,000 drams per month as of this summer. Most of them work for private firms.
The average monthly wage in Armenia currently stands at 178,000 drams ($375), according official statistics.
The bill approved by the parliament marks the most drastic increase in the national minimum wage to date. It was set at 55,000 drams by the country’s former government in 2015.
The current government is also planning a 10 percent rise in pensions which average roughly 41,000 drams per month at present.