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Official News

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan’s introductory remarks at cabinet sitting

Dear colleagues,

We have to begin today’s session with several assignments. You may know that after visiting Brussels we stepped up joint efforts with the European Union, the World Trade Organization and those countries with which we have free trade arrangements. The point is that we must comply with our international commitments, and today strict orders have to be formulated for the State Revenue Committee concerning the ways of ensuring compliance with the WTO regulations as of January 1, as well as with those arrangements reached under bilateral free trade arrangements which prevail over the Armenian laws as stipulated by Armenia’s legislative.

To avoid any broad interpretation of the matter, the State Revenue Committee should be directed to apply such fixed payment rates for tobacco products as would not exceed the mark of 15 percent of their customs value which is a rule of the World Trade Organization, and we are obliged to observe it from January 1, because there are cases when the rate of taxation is 17, 18 percent and so on..

Our studies have shown that we are in a position to comply with this requirement as of January 1..

The second assignment bears on the bilateral free trade agreements concerning the alcoholic drinks. Here too, we are in duty to provide compliance with the obligations assumed before our partners regarding the import of alcoholic drinks: the State Revenue Committee is accordingly directed to give preference to free trade arrangements.

By honoring our international commitments, we simultaneously meet the obligations assumed before the European Union which means that those agreements concluded with the European Union, including the ones on loan and grant assistance will come into force and, as a State, we will have to ensure that these regimes are applied in the Republic of Armenia as of January1.

The second assignment concerns all the ministries and agencies. We have draft laws submitted to the National Assembly and we are in for the next four-day debates at which either the State budget law is to be discussed. Nonetheless, some thirty bills are deemed to be of top priority by our cabinet ministers and the heads of government agencies.

You are hereby told to finalize them with your colleagues from the National Assembly and report back the outcome to the Prime Minister so that we could ask for an extraordinary sitting of Parliament in order to have them passed by yearend as they affect the reform process. You have a week at your disposal to that effect.

And the third key problem to discuss is the introduction of the institute of interconnectivity and coherence. I have already stated it while referring to the functions carried out by the State Revenue Committee, namely that the larger business manages to shatter the functions on small parts in order to avoid the payment of taxes during customs clearing. Therefore, the State Revenue Committee will have to apply the institute of interconnectivity to expose the linkages between the separate components so declared.

We must acknowledge the bill of top urgency and ask for extraordinary debates: it had to be submitted along with the State budget bill as we had a political decision and the directive of the President of the Republic of Armenia.
 

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