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Armenia: 1997 Budget Expenditures Slashed

Yerevan, 3 October 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Armenia's Finance and Economics Minister Armen Darbinyan said yesterday that projected budget expenditures for 1997 will be curtailed by 15 billion drams ($30 million) due to the lower-than-expected international financial grants.

Darbinyan told journalists that government expenditure has to be cut as a result of "incorrect budget estimates" of total grants forthcoming from foreign donor states and international financial institutions.

He said government revenues last month totalled a record high of 10.1 billion drams ($20 million), more than double the amount for the same period last year.

Darbinyan, who took part in recent World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Hong Kong, said the World Bank gave approval for Armenia to have access to its commercial loans. This move, he said, reflects the West's support of the Armenian government's economic policies. He also described his meetings with the IMF's management as "more than satisfactory" but gave no details.