YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


RADIO COMPANIES CHALLENGE THE DECISION OF THE GOVERNMENT

On January 25 radio companies “Vem”, “Impuls”, “City FM”, “Ardzagank”, Radio
“HAY”, “FM 105.5“ addressed the RA Economic Court with a suit to annul the act
of a state body that contradicts the law. This refers to clause 1 of the Decision
of the RA Government
No.946-N, dated July 6, 2006. In the opinion of the plaintiffs, this clause,
according to which the RA Ministry of Transportation and Communication received
the competence to define and approve the amount of annual fee for servicing
the broadcast frequency, runs contrary to the RA Constitution and legislation.

As reported, in accordance with the Decree of the Minister of Transportation
and Communication on November 1, 2006, the procedure for the payment and the
new tariffs for servicing frequencies allocated to radio companies were introduced.
Following this Decree, the Republican Center of Telecommunications demanded
to make the payment for 2006 before December 25. On December 27, 2006 several
radio companies addressed a letter to the higher officials of the country, announcing
that they refuse to pay until the issue is settled on an appropriate legal basis.
The signatories, in particular, argument their refusal, saying that the Minister’s
Decree violated the legislation demands, primarily Article 9 of the RA Law “On
Legal Acts” (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, January
8-11, 2007
). On January 16, 2007 a meeting was held at the RA President’s
Office with the representatives of radio companies, the Ministry of Transportation
and Communication, other state structures. As YPC was told by the Director of
“Van” Radio Shushanik Arevshatian, at the meeting the Ministry was commissioned
to find a solution to the problem. According to the Radio “Van” head, on January
18 the RA State Tax Service offered the radio companies to record the payment
for servicing the frequency in 2006 as a liability and to gradually pay it throughout
2007.

However, this solution was not accepted by the radio companies above, who filed
a suit.