YEREVAN, January 21. / ARKA /. A presidential candidate, Vartan Sedrakian, said today he would enforce sweeping changes to tax legislation if elected president in February 18 polls.
"I will abolish land tax, VAT and income tax, also payments for irrigation water; I will also free the people from cash registers, which kill small business," Sedrakian told journalists on Monday. According to him, the most humiliating thing for an Armenian is to pay taxes. He said the government should learn to act like a businessman.
"We have been told by the West since 1991 that the government should not be involved in businesses; it should only collect taxes and revenues to distribute them among the population. I do not think this is the right approach. In my opinion, both the private sector and the state should run businesses. The government should have shares in closed joint stock companies and control the bulk of industry and commerce, "Sedrakian said.
Sedrakian then questioned official data about permanent population in the country alleging that only 2 million people live here while voter lists have 2.5 million names.
He said if elected he would dissolve the parliament and call new elections to have a new fairly elected National Assembly as a counterbalance to the presidential power.
The February 18 election will be contested by eight candidates - the incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan, former prime minister Hrant Bagratian, ex-foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian, a Soviet time dissident Paruyr Hayrikyan, former foreign minister of Karabakh Arman Melikyan, a political analyst Andrias Ghukasyan, a businessman Vartan Sedrakian and Aram Harutyunyan, leader of a small National Unity party. -0-