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June 25
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YEREVAN. – We have analyzed the number of loans, the structure of loans; a very interesting number: among the 2.2 million borrowers, those who take loans up to 500 thousand drams total 1.4 million. Mikayel Melkumyan, an MP of the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) and an economist by profession, on Wednesday told this to reporters in the National Assembly, referring to PAP leader—and business tycoon MP—Gagik Tsarukyan’s proposal to forgive the loans up to 3 million drams in Armenia.

When asked by what means this should be implemented when there is not so much money in the state budget, Melkumyan responded: "It shall be [done] on the account of the regimen organized by the state; that money is there, and everything will happen."

To the question as to whether it is dishonest that believing that their loans will be forgiven, people who have several loans in Armenia will vote for the PAP—in the snap parliamentary elections slated for June 20—, but in reality there will be no opportunity to implement such loan forgiveness, Melkumyan responded. "We [the PAP] are saying a very practical thing, and it is time that we free people from debts. We will talk about all that during the election phase."

And when asked to what extent the policy pursued by those with a monopoly position has contributed to people falling into poverty and taking loans to survive, the PAP lawmaker said: "First of all, Mr. Tsarukyan has no monopoly anywhere. Tsarukyan is not an importer, Tsarukyan exports, and at the time, he created tens of thousands of jobs as an owner [of businesses]."

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