On March 18, 2020, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Economic Affairs debated and rejected the legislative initiative by “My Step” Faction MPs Varazdat Karapetyan, Lena Nazaryan and Mary Galstyan to suspend the issuance of new metal mining permits by December 31, 2021 in its first reading.
"The need is urgent, it can be fatal, as it is primarily due to the long-term impacts of this sector and their long-term risks to the state. The project is meant to minimize risks for the state.
The following two requirements are set forth: we recommend the Authorized Body in the field of environmental protection to publish within a month after the entry into force of the draft law the list of legal entities entitled to extracting minerals that do not have a positive environmental impact assessment or didn’t start operations after being issued a positive environmental impact assessment.
Secondly, we propose to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure to publish on its official website, within a month after the draft law enters into force, the list of legal entities the entitled to geological exploration for metal extraction and entitled to extract metals," Mary Galstyan presented.
According to Committee Chair Babken Tunyan, the legislative initiative assumes deterioration of economic conditions for the business entity.
Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Lilia Shushanyan also expressed a negative opinion. "The state goal of creating an investment environment is being targeted, the country is being excluded from the investment framework," Lilia Shushanyan said.
It should be noted that this legislative initiative stems from the demands of the environmental community, which has been raising concerns about the risks and damages of the metal mining industry for years, demanding responsibility, transparency and accountability. However, the negative decision of the NA committee bypassed the need for sector reforms, focusing on the interests of business entities.
March 18, 2020 at 20:40