Armenia’s Social Welfare Minister Steps Down in Protest

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Armenia’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan has tendered resignation application today. In a Facebook post she says she terminates her powers of minister, which she said were only tools for serving the citizens of Armenia.

Mane Tandilyan explains her decision by her disagreement with the government that decided to make the funded pension system mandatory for all citizens born after 1973 from July 1, 2018.

Earlier Tandilyan advocated a draft law that proposed to postpone the introduction of the mandatory funded pension system until July 1, 2019.

However, speaking at an extraordinary session of the parliament last week Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said a set of changes made to the country’s pension system, providing for the introduction of the mandatory funded system have passed the “point of no return”.

“Since this issue has a big political context, the government should make serious decisions on this regard. We must pass only those decisions, which are based on Armenia’s national interests, and they must be conscious and responsible,” Pashinyan said, emphasizing a few facts that can not be ignored in making decisions.

He said the first argument is that 80% of the beneficiaries of the obligatory funded system are already involved in it and only 20% will be embraced from July 1. Secondly, 120 billion drams have been accumulated in the pension funds, of which 70% are invested in the Armenian economy. And the third argument, according to Pashinyan is that these funds are managed by reliable international firms.

“I wish the current government many successes and foresight for the benefit of a democratic Armenia, ” Tandilyan wrote on her Facebook page.

Tandilyan also said that she quits the Lusavor Hayastan (Enlightened Armenia) party, a member of the Yelk Alliance of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.-0-