By Atom Markarian
The Armenian customs met its higher revenue target of 21 billion drams ($36 million) for the first quarter of this year largely thanks to increased imports of petrol and cigarettes to Armenia, officials said on Monday.
This is 13.5 percent more than it collected during the same period last year. The Customs Department is to raise a total of at least 107 billion drams in the course of this year. The State Taxation Service, by comparison, has to collect 117.4 billion drams in state revenues.
The head of the department, Armen Avetisian, said the collection of import duties, one of the main sources of the Armenian state budget, is proceeding according to plan despite an ongoing fall in traditional imports such as cheap clothing from the Middle East and China. He said the imports of gasoline rose instead by 14 percent to 49,000 metric tons in the first four months of the year.
The fuel, together with cigarettes, accounts for 42 percent of Armenia's net imports.