As it has already been reported, the decision of the Armenian Government about the privatization of newspapers stalls as well as the projects of the executive to privatize “Haymamoul” and the buildings where most leading Armenian media are located, caused a sharply negative response (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 1-7, 2001).
Another subject for inimical criticism was the intention of the RA Ministry of State Revenues to deprive the press, never “spoilt” by the state support as it is, from practically the only privilege: the exemption from value added tax on newspaper and magazine sales, legally stipulated in 1997.
The turbulent protestations of print media apparently have not passed unnoticed by the Parliament of the country. Anyway, the draft law on amendments and additions to the RA Law “On Value Added Tax” omitted this proposal of the tax authorities. The amendments on VAT were considered and adopted in the first hearing during the last three-day session of the National Assembly. While the press succeeded (for how long?) to retain the “cherished” item 10 of Article 15, the broadcast media lost the tax holiday. Item 9 of the same Article, granting a VAT exemption to “radio programs and TV programs not paid for by the consumers, including the funds received by a third party for their sale”, was annulled.