“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that officials in Armenia’s State Revenue Committee (SRC) are concerned that Karen Karapetian’s appointment as prime minister will delay the final passage of a new Tax Code designed to boost the government’s tax revenue. The National Assembly passed it in the first reading in July despite strong criticism voiced by opposition and even some pro-government deputies. A final debate on the code was scheduled for this autumn.
“Hraparak” reports that Karapetian will replace 80 percent of government ministers when he forms his cabinet this month. “Karen Karapetian has been given a right to form the cabinet at will,” writes the paper. “It is possible that totally unknown people will be brought in from abroad: so-called good managers whom Karapetian knows personally and trusts.” Also, it says, President Serzh Sarkisian will prevent most “old faces” from joining the list of candidates of the ruling Republican Party (HHK) in next year’s parliamentary elections.
“Zhoghovurd” reports that natural gas consumption in Armenia declined by more than 12 percent in the first half of this year. That was primarily attributable to a 36 percent drop in natural gas used by the Armenian energy sector and thermal-power plants in particular.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that in his ongoing reelection campaign Gyumri’s Mayor Samvel Balasanian is putting the emphasis on the fact that municipal employees have been paid on time during his tenure. The paper ridicules this tactic. “By the same token, Samvel Balasanian could have come up with the ‘I promise to go to work every day’ slogan. Paying salaries in a timely manner is supposed to be his duty, rather than something fantastic or unprecedented. People in Gyumri want to not only get their salaries on time but also be able to live off those salaries, which they can’t do now. Strangely, Samvel Balasanian is saying nothing about that.”
“Zhoghovurd” says that Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) may prosecute several more people in connection with violent attacks on journalists carried out during the violent dispersal of a July 29 demonstration held in Yerevan’s Sari Tagh in support of opposition gunmen that occupied a nearby police station. The SIS has already charged four men with assaulting the journalists.