Armenian Banks to Provide Debt Relief to Those Affected by Karabakh War

By Gevorg Tosunyan

A proposal was submitted to Armenia’s National Assembly to provide an opportunity for debt relief for those killed or disabled as a result of the war in Karabakh that began on September 27. The issue was discussed during a special meeting of the assembly on October 21.

“The government will bear part of the financial burden of unearned income as a result of the debt forgiveness proposal,” said Deputy Minister of Finance Arman Poghosyan, who presented the bill. Although this is an encouragement for banks to move forward with debt forgiveness, the final decision to do so remains under the bank’s discretion.

“We want this to be perceived as a real opportunity, and a willingness. Firstly, I am convinced that this is a special situation, and secondly, it does not make sense to keep these supposed assets in the banks’ balance sheets because the banks realize that it is not possible to get those loans back. The most rational decision should be to write them off and release those people from their credit obligations,” said Poghosyan.

According to the deputy minister, the discussion of the program illustrated that banks and credit organizations are willing to offer loan forgiveness.

“There are banks that did not even wait for the adoption of this law. I believe we will have a law that will benefit and provide abundant opportunity for debt relief,” the deputy minister of finance noted.

The parliament also discussed a separate tax relief bill. It is proposed that there should not be taxes levied on goods imported by organizations and individuals into Armenia for humanitarian, health, and military purposes. Additionally, the process should be more effective and functional.

The parliament unanimously adopted these proposals in their second session.

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