Government raises minimum wage in Armenia

Government raises minimum wage in Armenia

The government has decided to raise the minimum wage in Armenia beginning July 1. Thus, the minimum wage will be increased from current 35,000 (about $84) to 45,000 drams (about $108).

By this change any working person in Armenia will officially be above the poverty line, which is now $97.1 a month.

At Thursday’s Cabinet meeting Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said that raising the minimum wage by 30 percent is a ‘substantial change’ especially for those public sector employees who currently receive minimal salaries.

The government has promised that under a four-year plan a consistent rise in the minimum wage will take place in Armenia by 2017. The head of the government announced that the next increase in the minimum wage will be on January 1, 2014.

An additional 6 billion drams (about $14.5 million) will be required from the state budget to support the minimum wage increase from July. An additional spending of 50 billion (about $120.5 million) will be necessitated to fund the raise planned at the beginning of next year.

The minimum wage was last raised in Armenia at the beginning of this year – from 32,500 drams (about $78) to 35,000 drams (about $84).

Last September, opposition Armenian National Congress MP Hrant Bagratyan proposed a legislative amendment to set the minimum wage at 72,500 drams (about $174), but the government rejected that proposal.