Armenia's state debt to GDP ratio dropped to 46.7% in 2022, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said today in the parliament.
Speaking at a meeting of parliamentary committees, convened to discuss the execution of 2022 government budget, Pashinyan said the issue of state debt has always been a sensitive one in Armenia. 'From time to time, we hear statements that the state debt has grown and what will happen in the end? I would like to say that according to a state debt management strategy, approved by the government, we will be satisfied with the state debt to GDP ratio below 60% until 2026," Pashinyan said while acknowledging that despite the percentage reduction of the state debt-to-GDP ratio to 46.7%, the debt in nominal terms has increased.
"We have loan projects, the North-South transport corridor project, for example, that we originally planned to finance by external funds. Also, managing the Covid required a lot of resources, and during that period, the state debt also increased," the prime minister said.
Pashinyan said this issue should be looked at from the other side. "If a family's well-being grows, they begin to earn more income - in that case, is their debt burden growing or shrinking? Today, it is mostly growing, because when people have the opportunity, they choose to improve their wealth. In this regard, it is also important to fix that in Armenia the state debt is spent only on financing capital projects," Pashinyan said.
According to Armenia's National Statistical Committee, the country's aggregate state debt stood at about $10.9 billion as of March 31, 2023, an increase of $141.9 million from February 28, 2023. On December 31, 2022, the state debt was over $10.6 billion, ARKA reports