ARF’s Parliamentary Faction Proposes To Revise Several Decisions

August 03, 2007

Over 100 citizens have applied to the ARF’s parliamentary faction
complaining about the strict requirements for licensing of taxi
services adopted by the government.

Taking into account wide dissatisfaction with this issue, the ARF’s
parliamentary faction has appealed to the Prime Minister Serzh Sargsian
with several proposals that would allow to solve this issue.

The ARF’s appeal to the Prime Minister is presented below.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Over 100 taxi drivers have appealed to the
ARF’s parliamentary faction.

The latter have expressed their dissatisfaction with the strict
procedures and requirements for licensing of the taxis adopted by
the RA government.

Having met with their representatives and studied the raised issues
we draw the government’s attention to the following issues and propose
the following approaches for discussion and solution of these issues.

It should be noted that the problems occurred as a result of adoption
and further application of the RA government’s decree N655-N adopted
on March 22, 2007. This decree is based on implementation of Articles
17 and 18 of the RA Law on Automobile Transport according to which
the RA government is supposed to adopt the procedure for organization
of passenger transportation by taxis on the territory of Armenia.

During our meeting with the representatives of the taxi drivers the
following issues were raised.

1. The year of the car’s production is viewed as the decisive criteria
for safe exploitation of the taxi vehicles. Meanwhile, the degree of
safety can be determined by technical examination of the vehicles.

2. The requirements set for the entities providing taxi services are
not adequate taking into consideration that the same requirements
are set both for legal entities and individual taxi drivers.

3. No distinction is made between the taxi services operating in
Yerevan and those operating in the region. Meanwhile, the difference
based on social, economic, demographic, labor market and other criteria
is obvious.

While acknowledging that this sector does need regulation, we believe
that this process should not be speedy without implementation of the
necessary infrastructure measures and establishment of the necessary

The government’s decree has caught a major portion of taxi service
providers by surprise causing social tension. Meanwhile, implementation
of the requirements defined in the decree assumes a certain timeframe
as well as coordinated work of all agencies involved.

The approach taken by this decree will result in significant increase
of expenditures for the small taxi services and individual drivers,
increase in the taxi service prices, and, as a result of this,
emergence of large taxi services at the expense of the smaller ones
and deterioration of employment conditions for the drivers.

Besides, the procedures for registration of private entrepreneurs
and tax regulations are more complicated and imply additional
expenses. Such additional expenses can be unaffordable especially
for those individuals who provide taxi services to earn the minimum
income necessary to provide for their families’ daily living.

Based on the above, we propose to review the decree based on the
following approaches: 1. To take into consideration the peculiarities
of Armenia’s regional development as stated in the government’s
program, 2. To postpone implementation of the controversial
requirements of the decree setting a transition period which will
allow the citizens to improve their vehicles to meet the requirements
of the new procedures.

3. To revise the year of the vehicle’s production as the decisive
criteria for its safety and set a 2 year transition period for
implementation of this requirement.

It is equally important that the decree takes into consideration
the requirements of Article 83.5 of the RA Constitution according to
which the limitations on the rights and freedoms of legal entities and
individuals can be set exclusively by laws. Accordingly, amendment
to the legislation might be necessary which will define the main
criteria for licensing of taxi vehicles.

Having presented our approaches, we hope that they will deserve
your attention and will contribute to the amelioration of the social
tension and the fair solution of the problem. At the same time, we
reconfirm our readiness to participate in the discussion of this issue.

Respectfully, Hrayr Karapetian, Head of the ARF’s parliamentary

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS