Unprecedented tax revenue growth recorded in Artsakh in 2017
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 14, ARMENPRESS. Artsakh recorded a nearly 6% tax revenue over-execution last year. The expected 15% economic growth was based on economic activity in the mining and other industry branches. The IT sector is considered to be a promising development direction for encouraging growth.
ARMENPRESS spoke to Artsakh’s finance minister Grigori Martirosyan on last year’s achievements of the country, as well as expectations of 2018.
- Mr. Martirosyan, what indicator of economic growth has been recorded last year in Artsakh and what factors contributed to it?
- We still don’t have official data on economic growth indicators, it will be specifically clear in March-April. But according to preliminary estimates we await a rather high – up to 15% economic growth. The economic activity of the year was a foundation for such a high indicator – first of all in the mining, industry and other branches. Rather high results have been recorded in the agriculture sector as well. According to our estimates the share of mining in the 15% economic growth will comprise nearly 6%, industry and other branches – nearly 3%, construction – 2-3%, and the remaining at the expense of services and other sectors.
- What economic growth indicator are you striving for in 2018?
- We’ve planned a minimum of 8% economic growth, but our expectations are higher. And depending on what economic situation and successes in investment policy we will have, I think growth will exceed 8%.
- What directions is Artsakh trying to develop to boost growth?
- As a priority direction for economic policy the government of Artsakh has emphasized energy. Hydro-energy gains big momentum. The government is currently also planning other restoration works. There is certain work in the food, light industry branches also. While in the service sector we will point out information technologies, which is declared to be a priority branch. Works are underway to create an environment for Armenian and international companies to establish branches and take orders. The IT sector can be a promising development direction for Artsakh. Agriculture and tourism are also important branches. 2017 stood out with a big flow of tourists. We are developing both historical and ecological tourism. Individual projects are planned for different directions, and the government is support these projects.
- Mr. Martirosyan, what are the biggest achievements in the tax sector of last year?
- In terms of revenues we recorded an unprecedented indicator in 2017 – a nearly 6% over-execution of revenues. 22% growth was recorded against the previous year. We haven’t recorded such over-execution indicators at least for the past 10 years. I would like to especially emphasize that this result was recorded not only based on the growth of the mining sector. More than 50% from the total over-executed 2 billion 200 million was ensured by other major taxpayers also.
- Please point out the major taxpayers
- This year the first biggest taxpayer is from the mining sector, followed by a communications carrier, while several construction companies are the third.
Speaking about challenges for 2018, the minister says challenges will mostly be in the agriculture sector due to bad weather conditions of the beginning of the year.
- -In one of your interviews you mentioned that this year housing will be under the spotlight in the state budget. What actions have been taken or planned in this regard?
- In 2018, we plan to support through various options families who are willing to re-settle. Support will be in the form of construction materials, apartment construction and others. The main emphasis will be on the Shahumyan and Kashatagh regions, but other regions will also be included.
- And how much is planned for the project?
- 400 million drams is planned.
Interview by Anna Grigoryan