Armenian Draft Budget For 2007 Envisages 100.4 Billion Drams For Def

ARMENIAN DRAFT BUDGET FOR 2007 ENVISAGES 100.4 BILLION DRAMS FOR DEFENSE SPHERE

ArmInfo News Agency, Armenia
Nov 6 2006

The draft budget of Armenia for 2007 plans to allocate 100.4 billion
drams or 281 million US dollars under the USD exchange rate fixed
in the draft for the defense sphere, Armenian Defense Minister Serge
Sargsyan told journalists. The minister added that the parliamentary
discussions on the draft budget are likely to result in a rise of
the initial sum.

The minister said that an agreement has been reached on provision of
the 3.5% of GDP to the defense sphere. While in 2006 this indicator
was 3%. "The higher is GDP in Armenia and the stronger is the economy,
the higher will be allocations to the defense sphere," Serge Sargsyan
said. He said the budgetary funds will be equally distributed,
including 48% will be directed to wages and social expenses. The
wages of officers will be risen to 165,000 AMD in 2007.

The minister said the budgetary allocations to the sphere are enough
to maintain the fighting capacity of the army. "Of course, these
funds are incomparable to the one billion dollar defense budget of
Azerbaijan, but they are enough in case of a rational and purposeful
use," the minister said. Serge Sargsyan said that "serious armaments"
will be acquired next year. He expressed hope that Armenia’s future
budgets will also have social orientation.

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