Studying the financial disclosures of Armenia’s top level government officials, one gets the impression that most of them are money lenders on the side.
The interest they receive often outstrips their state salaries or those of family members.
Robert Nazaryan, Commissioner of the Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia, and his wife Svetlana Kharatyan make some of the income via money lending.
In 2011, Robert Nazaryan declared a mere US$8,100 in interest income from loans. In terms of cash assets, Nazaryan declared $112,000 and 11 million AMD. (Those figures were $15,000 and 8 million respectively in 2010)
In 2012, interest income from loans was $8,300. Nazaryan cash assets remained virtually unchanged - $112,000 and 12 million AMD.
What Nazaryan forgot that at the end of the 2012 he declared 12 million AMD and declared 1 million less (11 million) at the start of 2013. Naturally, he should have declared 12 million as of January 1, 2013. His dollar assets remained the same at $112,000.
In 2013, Nazaryan again declared $8,300 in interest income from loans.
In 2011 his wife Svetlana Kharatyan declared no salary. Her only revenue was $24,300 in interest from loans. She declared $300,000 and 3 million AMD in the bank.
In 2012, Kharatyan declared $24,450 in loan income. Her cash in dollars remained at $300,000 but her cash in drams dropped to 2 million.
Government officials and their relatives know that their financial disclosures are not examined in any detail. Thus, they feel at ease filling them in using the simple “copy paste” method.
How else can we explain Svetlana Kharatyan making a similar accounting mistake like her husband?
She declared 2 million AMD as cash assets as of December 31, 2012 and 3 million AMD as of January 1, 2013.
That would, at the very least, nullify the financial disclosure had anyone taken the time to examine the numbers.
In Armenia, it seems, nobody really cares.