The rise in gas tariffs starting from next year worries many Armenian residents, and while in rural communities people can replace the blue fuel with wood, in urban areas, and especially in Yerevan, people don’t have that choice.
Concerns have started since summer, when deputy chairman of Gazprom Andrey Kruglov stated that gas will cost $330-$350 per thousand cubic meters from 2011, an increase of $170.
At its regular meeting last week the Government of Armenia withdrew an order requiring owners of vehicles to pay a fine for un-registering those vehicles – a common practice by villagers who use cars and trucks and farm equipment only during the farming season.
Till now, owners withdrawing registrations paid 5,000 drams (about $13) each time a vehicle’s status was changed.
More than eight percent inflation in 11 months this year will make many Armenians celebrate New Year more humbly than usual; meanwhile economists foresee even higher inflation at the end of the year.
People spend the main part of their incomes on food, as every day products have grown in price multiple times over the past several months. Potato prices increased by 39 percent, cheese by 33 percent and eggs by 12 percent.
The National Assembly of Armenia approved the State Budget 2011 at the conclusion of its autumn session, which totals about 850 billion drams (about $2.4 billion), tax revenue of which total 650 billion drams (about $1.8 billion), instead of 570 billion drams (about $1.6 billion) this year.
The budget was approved by a vote of 80-14 and two abstentions.
At the summit of a Russia-led defense alliance of former Soviet republics in Moscow late last week Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan reiterated that Armenia will have no alternative but to formally recognize Karabakh if Azerbaijan uses force against the internationally unrecognized republic.
At the session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Security Council on December 10 Sargsyan stressed, however, that Armenia is against a military solution to the Karabakh dispute.