Friday, 21 September

Exorbitant Expenses: Armenia's State Budget Includes LED TVs and Over $320 in Pens

Armenia's State Revenue Committee plans on spending hundreds of thousands of dram this year on plane tickets, LED TV screens, and pens, among other "everyday" items.

The State Revenue Committee's 2014 budget includes a 60 million AMD (about $146,113 USD) expense for plane tickets. State Revenue Committee Chief of Staff Armen Gevorgyan informed Hetq that this amount is determined taking into consideration a comparative analysis of the previous year's actual expenses, as well as this year's anticipated expenses for business trips connected to Armenia's accession to the Customs Union. 

The Committee also plans on spending 12,791,436 AMD ($31,150) on procurement this year.

In 2014, the government plans to complete 10 new service centers for taxpayers at regional tax offices, each of which will contain a LED 50” TV screen valued at 599,000 AMD ($1,458). According to the State Revenue Committee, the need for this particular technology is dictated by the total surface area, the level of lighting, and other features of the service centers. The screens will be used to broadcast various information to taxpayers.

A further 36,800,000 AMD ($89,616) will be spent on fitting the regional tax offices' ground floor windows and doors with metal grilles. The State Revenue Committee explains this figure by saying that about 2,000 square meters need to be fitted with metal grilles and the market price per square meter is at least 18,400 AMD ($44.80). 

Considerable resources are planned also for television broadcasting services — 28 million AMD ($68,186), as well as 48.1 million AMD ($117,134) for leasing a satellite connection. According to Gevorgyan, the first expense covers the fee for commercials on events aimed at improving tax administration, while the second ensures a broadband channel for the necessary exchange of digital information between the State Revenue Committee's customs points and a higher body.

Also planned for 2014 is the purchasing of 12 gel pens valued at 29,000 AMD ($5.90 each); 80 pens costing 1,100 AMD ($2.68) each; and 400 pens costing 37.5 AMD ($0.09) each.  The $5.90 pens will be given along with other souvenirs and written material to high-ranking foreign guests and official delegation members during ceremonial events, while the $2.68 pens are for the Committee's internal use. 

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Comments (1)
1. varou23:14 - 16 February, 2014
Seriously? Does Hetq think $320 is too much for pens? You have a serious issue called OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder... and you are fixated on bashing and making wrong everything that occurs in Armenia to the point where people become disenchanted, fed up and disgusted. Your constant negativism does nothing but discourage building all it does is demolish. Criticism is welcome when it's balanced and constructive, but when you're nagging constantly well forget it... I'm turning the channel.
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