During 2014, the Ministry of Economy, and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources bought from one person respectively 6.8 million AMD (about $ 14.230) and 8.5 million AMD (about $ 17.758) tickets by the means of the State budget for business trips. We would like to remind that in our previous publications we covered the ticket purchase cases by Ministries of Justice, Education and Science, Agriculture and Nature Protection.
As it was noted in the previous publications, ministers prefer to travel by business class, and it costs two times more expensive than the simple tickets.
So, on June 25-27 the Minister of Economy Karen Chshmarityan and the first deputy minister Garegin Melkonyan were sent to Brussels for meetings and discussions with the corresponding main institutions of the European Commission. Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan made a decision on the last day of the trip that is on June 27. A business class ticket and an economy class ticket were bought from “SS Travel” Company for Yerevan-Prague-Brussels and Brussels-Prague-Yerevan directions. Minister Karen Chshmarityan travelled by business class. The price of the purchase was 1 million 789 thousand AMD. The contract of the purchase was signed after the business trip, on June 30.
The price of the economy class tickets bought for Garegin Melkonyan was 650 thousand AMD, and the price of the business class tickets bought for the minister was 1 million 139 thousand AMD, thus approximately two times more expensive.
Yervand Zakharyan, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and his first deputy Areg Galstyan were sent to Moscow on October 30-31 to discuss bilateral collaboration questions with Russia. The decision of the Prime Minister about the expenses of their business trip was made in 17 days after the trip, on November 17.
This time both the minister and the deputy minister travelled by business class, which cost 1 million 313 thousand AMD for the State budget. The cost of one ticket bought from “Armenia Travel + M” Company was 656.500 thousand AMD, but in case of travelling by economy class the expenses could have been at least three times lower.
On June 8-11 Minister Yervand Zakharyan, again travelled to Moscow to participate in the 6th international forum “ATOMEXPO”. Only the cost of the tickets for this trip of the minister was about 1 million AMD. Business class tickets were bought for him from “Link Tour” Company for Yerevan-Moscow and Moscow-Yerevan directions.
It is interesting that in June, the business class ticket bought for one person for the same directions was 1 million AMD, and in October – 656 500 AMD. We know that Moscow is not considered a resort, and there are no changes in the costs of tickets depending on the weather, as it is in case of another Russian city Sochi.
It means that in this case not only there was no prudence of replacing the business class ticket by an economy class ticket, but even vice versa, the already expensive ticket was bought for by a more expensive cost.
We would also like to mention that in this case again the decision of the Prime Minister about the trip expenses was made after the business trip, on June 27.
By the way, on 11-12 December, 2014, Vache Gabrielyan, the deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Economic Integration and Reforms, and Sedrak Barseghyan, Adviser to Minister-Chief of Government Staff, also travelled to Moscow to take part in the serial session of the Economic Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States. One business class and one economy class tickets were bought from “Atlantis Tour 4+1” Company for Yerevan-Moscow-Yerevan directions.
In case of the business class the trip cost 554 thousand AMD, and in case of the economy class – 167 thousand AMD. It is incomprehensible how the cost of the tickets for the same directions could be about two times more expensive in a month.
P. S. We will successively present the costs of the tickets bought by ministries for foreign trips.
To be continued