by Alexandr Avanesov
Armenian National Assembly amended the Law On Excise Tax on Wednesday. The amendments call to exempt importers of expensive cars of high excise taxes.
Four opposition parties Orinats Yerkir, Prosperous Armenia, ARFD and Heritage refused to vote on what they think leaves many issues pending. In fact, Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakyan was reluctant to announce a 20-minute break to ensure the necessary number of votes by the Republican Party Faction. After the break, the amendments were put on voting and were passed in the first reading.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the co-author of the bill, MP from the ruling Republican Party Vardan Ayvazyan said that the decision to impose a 20% excise tax on the import of expensive cars has resulted in declining car imports and a 4bln AMD cut in relevant budget revenues. "We should cancel the tax if we want to get more revenues. In any case, if adopted, these changes will hardly last for long. On Jan 1 2015 we are to join the Eurasian Union and the customs duties will grow. So, we have just six months to allow our people to import good cars and our authorities to replenish the budget," Ayvazyan said.
When some MPs objected that the wealth tax was meant to ensure social justice rather than to solve some fiscal problems, Ayvazyan said that for being socially effective, such a tax should be applied to property rather than car import.