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Armenia has found a way to save the economy: The country will be flooded with miracle portable toilets

10 February 2010 [15:53] - TODAY.AZ
If your first attempt fails, then parachute sports is not for you…

Paraphrasing this old funny story, it can easily be applied to the Armenian government, or rather, that part which is responsible for the economic condition of the country.

Armenia’s economy is another funny story to tell.. Not old and not new, but eternal. It is becoming an eternally funny story due to the policy of our neighboring country.

Economic news regularly streams in from the other side of the front and causes not only irony, but a strong dose of insanity. The country has the worst economic situation among the post-Soviet countries, is suffering terrible consequences of the economic crisis, and a significant reduction in budget revenues and expenditures, etc.  On top of all that, the country’s semi-blockade situation has even acuter consequences on the backdrop of the above-said.

One can say the country faces a shortage of skilled workers. Quite inappropriate persons are in charge of the economy and other areas.

For instance, at a recent news conference in Yerevan, head of the Economy Ministry’s Tourism and Economic Development Department Mekhak Apresyan did his utmost to describe the charms of the country's tourism sector. He spoke about the country’s potential, the alleged increase in number of tourists and future plans. To tell the truth, he could not even say anything concrete about the latter. But his little primitive fantasy saved him.

He attributed the increased number of tourists in Armenia with the presence (or absence) of anti-vandal portable toilets in the country. Apresyan did not specify what are anti-vandal bathrooms, how they look, whether they help travelers to relieve themselves, or whether it is regarded as an act of vandalism, only firmly assuring that such “miracle facilities” can be created in Armenia.

Unlike Apresyan, the Armenian parliament did not invent anything supernatural and did not deal with portable toilets, but only succeeded to get extra budgetary funds for itself. The government session held on Feb. 4 decided to open an account for extra budgetary funds of the parliament. It remains unclear how they will be formed, who and under what principle would use them. Perhaps, every Friday the MPs will hold a tournament of backgammon, and the winner will get all the funds collected for the week. It is possible it will be much easier – they will play "rock-paper-scissors," or share the money like thieves.

While the deputies think how and who will form these extra-budgetary funds and, most importantly, who will distribute those funds,  prices for meat products, sugar have significantly increased. Apart from this, reduction in import of cars has reached all time low – 61 percent. Yerevan-Tbilisi flight was closed due to unprofitability. The population continues to leave the country not to move to safer countries, but with the thought to leave this place for somewhere else as soon as possible.

One can understand them. So, why not to leave the country whose government recently submitted to Parliament a package of new draft laws, which envisages charging new taxes in the country? Aren’t the tax for construction in progress, the tax on unprocessed agricultural land or a tax on non-target use of land provided for ongoing construction insane?!

According to the simple human logic, if a physical or legal person constructs a facility, he/she has definite goals, and so, wants to complete construction. The latter can be suspended in some cases, the most common of which is the lack of funds.

So, if a person has no money to complete the construction, why and how can he pay taxes for construction in progress?! Maybe the Armenian government and the parliament will find a way out of the situation, and tax will soon be paid by natural products – chickens, eggs, meat ... Well, what to do if the economic situation in the country is getting sadder every day...

H. Hamidov
Day.Az writer

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