Ex-Prime Minister Blames unprecedented Inflation Last Year On Domestic Factors

14.01.2011 20:15
Ex-Prime Minister Blames unprecedented Inflation Last Year On Domestic Factors

YEREVAN, January 14. / ARKA /. Ex-prime minister Hrant Bagratian dismissed today Armenian authorities’ claims that the ‘unprecedented’ inflation last year was due to external factors, primarily because of higher food prices resulting from a sharp fall in domestic agriculture production and the increased cost of wheat and other cereals on international markets.

Armenia ended 2010 with a nearly double-digit inflation of 9.4 percent. According to Armenian Central Bank, 6-7 percentage points of the total inflation rate were due to circumstances beyond the Central Bank’s control, like a decline in agricultural produce and a rise in world food prices

Speaking at a press conference today, Hrant Bagratian, who served as prime minister in the administration of Armenia’s first post-Soviet president Levon Ter-Petrosian, in the 1990s, blamed the high inflation on domestic factors, saying Armenia’s inflation had nothing to do with global rise of food prices. In his words, the main reason behind high inflation is monopolization of retail trade by oligarchic structures.

‘Retail trade has bee monopolized like other lucrative economy sectors, by oligarchs. The bulk of retail trade in Yerevan last year was conducted through four supermarkets, which dictated food prices as smaller stores were gradually ousted.,’ he claimed.

On Thursday Gagik Minasian, chairman of a parliament committee on financial and budgetary issues, blamed last year’s high inflation on a dramatic 14.5 decline in agriculture, unfavorable climatic conditions that damaged a sizeable portion of crops and high prices of wheat at global markets. The government inflation projection for 2011 is 4% (±1.%). -0-

Tags: , Новости Армении АМИ Новости-Армения

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