Citing economic benefits, government plans to cut number of New Year public holidays by 5

 12:28,

YEREVAN, APRIL 15, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian government plans to cut the number of annual public holidays by reducing the New Year non-working days by 5.

Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan said at the Cabinet meeting that they want January 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th to be business days. “This is aimed at the establishment of a strong economy,” he said.

Kerobyan argued that the current number of public holidays during the New Year period “take away 10 days from the Armenian economic life”. He said that all citizens, businesses and entrepreneurs “cannot afford such luxury”. According to him, the changes will lead to an annual GDP growth of 88 billion drams (1,5%), and a GO increase of 123 billion.

However, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mesrop Arakelyan disagreed with Kerobyan, arguing that not only did the economy minister miscalculate the figures, but that the proposal would disrupt citizens’ right to rest and leisure. Instead he proposed to cut only January 4th, 5th and 7th as holidays.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted that this subject is being discussed for a long time and said that it will further be debated. The Cabinet gave a preliminary approval for the bill. “Let’s consider this as more of an offer for everyone to think about rather than a final political decision,” he said.

By current law, the public holidays during the New Year period start from December 31 until the 7th of January. January 6 is the Armenian Christmas, while the 7th is marked as a Day of Remembrance of the Dead.

Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan

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