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             65.jpgThe industrial infrastructures sphere, which is declared a priority by the NKR authorities, is the most comprehensive branch in the economy. 

            It comprises the areas, which are important for the state's security and generally vital for the country – energy, communication, transport, and others. 

There are numerous state programs aimed at the development of this sphere, prevention of falling behind the world economic developments, and the increase of investments in this sphere from year to year isn’t accidental.   

            Following is an interview with NKR Minister of Industrial Infrastructures Hakob Ghahramanian about the scheduled programs on the sphere’s development.   

- Mr. Ghahramanian, the industrial infrastructures sphere is likely to be the most comprehensive and important field, as it comprises the most significant branches of our economy. What is the policy of its development for the coming years?  

            - Indeed, the NKR Ministry of Industrial Infrastructures is an extensive and important sphere and is authorized to control the state-owned shares at some companies. The company has approximately 2,500 employees, and their direct participation provides almost 17​​% of our country's gross domestic product (GDP). As mentioned above, the Ministry, through the implementation of the government's policy on the energy, transport, water supply, and communication areas, as well as inter-state cooperation in these areas and representation and protection of the interests, is taking corresponding measures aimed at the implementation of the provisions of the President's pre-election program, which are aimed at solving the existing problems in these areas, facilitating the economic development and raising the living standards of the population. In the coming years, it is expected to complete the programs approved and being discussed by the Government, which will allow the people of Artsakh to enjoy the services in the spheres of energy, telecommunications, communications, water supply, and regular transportation, corresponding to international standards. It is clear that any country and economy, experiencing a blockade and possessing limited financial resources, having no independent monetary policy (the NKR is fully deprived of the possibility of enjoying the international (except the RA) financial and credit resources), eventually becomes dependent on the bank systems, the credit policy of which, along with the positive impact (long-term), has its negative (short-term) impact on some spheres and cannot give the results expected by the population in a short period. To fully utilize our country's available resources and economic potential, we will continue the works on the implementation of the incentive programs on the creation of favorable conditions for the attraction of foreign investments and export, which will allow to invest also in the infrastructure sphere in order that we can create competitive advantages, improve the import indexes, and take our worthy place in the modern world through increasing the volume of new technologies and high-quality services.

            - Recently, an agreement has been signed with the RA Ministry of Transport and Communication. What do you think it will give to the NKR?

            - Signing an agreement with the RA Ministry of Transport and Communication will have its positive impact on the cooperation between the two ministries. Generally, the agreement includes directions, which are aimed at solving the problems in the areas of transport and communication, information provision, elaboration and implementation of the legislation methodology and legislative acts, as well as cooperation on international issues. In addition, it provides cooperation with various international organizations, participation in international seminars, staff training and exchange of experience, harmonization of legal problems. Generally, the agreement obliges us to consistently implement the scheduled works and, expanding the scope of cooperation, to promote the development of transport and communication spheres in our countries.  

            - The noted agreement related only a part of the NKR industrial infrastructures sphere. Will it relate in the future also to the departments coordinating the spheres of energy, water systems, and others?

            - Since May, we have held different discussions with the RA Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the RA State Water Management Committee. Draft cooperation agreements were elaborated with both structures; working groups were formed with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources for studying the existing problems in the sphere and proposing efficient mechanisms for their solution; in particular, the issues of the reliability and security of the energy systems are researched. The noted structures sent representative working groups to the NKR; comprehensive discussions and consultations took place, and the nearest activities were coordinated. The pre-signing procedure is completed, and the terms of signing the agreement are coordinated. 

            - What are the primary issues, the solution of which should not be delayed?

            - Our sphere’s problems are all primary; we try to avoid situational solutions and prefer to give programmed solutions to the problems. But, I don’t mean that we avoid giving operational solutions to the problems occurred.

            - What is the rate policy? Is prices increase expected in the electricity, gas, water and other sectors?

            - Realizing the importance of the sphere, the ministry will try to maintain a balanced rate policy, basing on the internationally accepted principle of ensuring the validity of the revenue, reasonable profit and expenses, without ignoring the interests of the most socially vulnerable sector. If we study the ongoing economic (including international) changes that are complex and varied, we can firmly state that in our conditions, the rates are highly dependent on external factors, which force to review the current rates and to conduct a policy corresponding to the liberalized market economy. The changes in prices and rates are implemented solely due to the changes in economic conditions, and I am sure it is always taken into account by corresponding structures. For example, responding to the allegations of the water systems’ companies for reviewing the rates, the ministry offered to study the economic validity of the current rates and, if necessary, to apply to the appropriate structures.