Tuesday, July 17, 2007

THE FOX is now guarding the henhouse

Armenian Tax Chief Sacked

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 07/16/2007
By Emil Danielyan

President Robert Kocharian dismissed the head of the Armenian government's main tax collection agency and replaced him by one of his senior aides on Monday.

A statement by Kocharian's office did not explain why Felix Tsolakian, head of the State Tax Service (STS), was relieved of his duties. It said only that he will now serve as a presidential adviser.

Tsolakian's replacement, Vahram Barseghian, has until now run Kocharian's Oversight Service tasked with combating financial irregularities and other corrupt practices within various-level government bodies.

Incidentally, Tsolakian headed the service before being appointed as STS chief four years ago. The 55-year-old had previously held senior positions in the Soviet KGB and its Armenian successor agency, the National Security Service.

Armenia's tax revenues have grown substantially since 2003, even if they still account for a very modest share of Gross Domestic Product. They rose by 24 percent to 162 billion drams ($480 million) during the first five months of this year, helping the government post a rare budget surplus.

It is not clear if Tsolakian's dismissal has any connection with the recent launch of a government plan of legislative and administrative measures aimed at significantly raising the tax revenues in the next few years. The three-year plan calls for the abolition of controversial tax breaks enjoyed by local and foreign firms, improved tax administration, and a tougher crackdown on widespread tax evasion.


My goodness. Things really are not changing, nor do I see much chance of them changing for quite some time.

Vahram, one of the more corrupt people in Armenia is just making his way around.

This guy is really good at collecting money for Kocharian and I will guarantee you this. The reason he was moved to this position is that Kocharian has very little time in office and before he leaves office, he is going to royally rape the country of a very large quantity of hard CASH so he can live high on the hog until his untimely death.

For those of you who don’t know about Vahram, you can revisit some very significant posting I have on MOB which you can find here, here, here, here, here and here.

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