The Armenian National Assembly passed in the second reading and in full a bill on State Duty at a regular session on Monday amid the protests staged by a group of construction workers outside the parliament building.
The bill sets a new 14,000 dram-per-tone duty for imported cement and no duty for imported clinker in an effort to equalize the pricing of imported and locally produced cement.
The protesting construction workers claim the adoption of the bill amounts to a violation of law since lawmakers have no right to put the new measure into force earlier than in six months, arguing it will lead to an increase in cement prices.
The bill was adopted in a vote of 85 for, 16 against and 3 abstentions after the session was paused for 20 minutes for talks with the demonstrators, but the latter were late to show up for the meeting.
Babken Tunyan, the head of the Armenian parliament’s Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, said that they will definitely meet with the demonstrators and discuss the matter.
Separately, lawmakers also passed amendments to Armenia’s Criminal Code and supplements to the law on lotteries proposed by MPs Alen Simonyan, Sipan Pashinyan and Naira Zohrabyan.