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Armenian State Revenue Committee have spent 29,5 million Armenian drams (about $79,000 US), on organizing a corporate party for its staff of 270 people: management, tax and customs officers, with the participation of Armenian music stars and comedians in Yerevan’s luxury Marriott Armenia hotel.
A document made public by the Journalists’ Club “Asparez” on Friday, reveals, that Armenian taxpayers had to pay 107 thousand AMD ($290 US) for each tax/customs service official to have fun. $290 is quite a lot of money for a large party like that, even if its in the most expensive restaurant.
The question is – what have those tax/customs officials done to deserve such a lavish party in a year of unprecedented economic downturn for the country. The Armenian economy contracted 15-15.5% in 2009, and the State Revenue Committee didn’t do anything heroic to save the State budget: the tax revenues last year dropped almost 18%. As a regular law-obedient citizen, I’m probably right to think, that this is taxpayer money – wasted.
In its press release, the Journalists’ Club “Asparez” also claims, that the due procedure for making large state purchases was not duly observed, hinting there might also be some corruption / ‘kick-back’ issue involved. Something tells me, “Asparez” claims right…