Nearly 1,000 businesses shut down, others work in partial capacity in Artsakh due to blockade


STEPANAKERT, FEBRUARY 14, ARTSAKHPRESS. A number of industrial sectors in Artsakh are facing very serious problems as a result of the ongoing blockade of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan.

The normal operations of SMEs are disrupted, all companies are experiencing major problems regarding raw materials and other materials, import of goods and exports of output, the official Operational Headquarters of the government of Artsakh said in response to a query from ARMENPRESS.

 “And this all in turn leads to inflation, unemployment, shortages of food products, poverty, decline in industrial outpost and turnover, decline in tax revenue and several other problems,” the Operational Headquarters said.

Tax revenues dropped after businesses started shutting down, and due to related layoffs.

Preliminary data shows that in January of 2023 alone the tax revenues (including state duties) were over 32% less than projected.

“The collected revenues were underperformed around 29% compared to the same period of the previous year. Given the situation, the government initiated a number of business support projects which are primarily aimed at maintaining the jobs and payment of salaries.”

As of the latest data, approximately 1,000 corporate taxpayers (businesses) have suspended operations. But this isn’t the whole picture because most of the companies who are still working are working only at partial capacity.

In response to question about the problems in the food sector, the authorities said that the frequent gas and power disruptions are negatively affecting agriculture, by disrupting the work of the greenhouses, which leads to harvest damage from frost. Furthermore, because of shortages of fuel all agricultural works are proceeding in several times lesser volumes, and in some cases are entirely suspended. “As a solution the government is providing a certain quantity of fuel to agriculture business operators to mitigate the negative impact of the situation to some extent,” the Operational Headquarters said, adding that they are trying to fill the gap at the expense of reserves because it is impossible to import the agricultural seeds and other required products, including harvest protection measures.

Van Novikov

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