According to the index of the Doing Business project of the World Bank, the documentation process of acquiring a permission to build a storehouse in Armenia takes 84 days and one needs to pass through 18 stages to receive the final permission. This information was communicated by Carl Ulbricht, the International Expert on the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project, on the second day of the final working meeting entitled “Corruption Risks in the Business Sector of Armenia.”
In response to the question, Albert Babayan, the Head of the Department for Improvement of Business Environment at the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, said that the main process of receiving a permission for construction takes 30 days. During the rest of the days, other agencies carry out inspections.
In the first module of the working meeting, the main problems in the field of licenses and permissions were discussed. President of the SME Cooperation Association Hakob Avagyan noted that corruption risks had been recorded in the field of provision of construction licenses. In particular, if a company could receive just one type of license before, now different licenses are required for different fields of construction. The state due for each of them is AMD 80,000. Additionally, the documents required for that permission are not clearly regulated in the legislation.
There are intermediary organizations that render paid services of collecting these documents. If one does not use these services, the process of receiving a license can take months.
Gaps in the Act on Advertisements cause problems for people who have small businesses. Small signboards pointing at stores are regarded as advertisements. Thus, people are forced to pay dues for these signboards as well.
In the second part of the working meeting, working groups were formed and the problems in the customs and taxation sectors, public procurement sector, as well as the field of economic competition, provision of licenses and permissions, were discussed.
The main problems in the customs and taxation sectors are linked with complicated customs clearance procedures. It is suggested preparing and publishing leaflets about the types of documents required for applying the transaction value method and the right way of completing them.
Great importance was attached to the problem of transparency in the field of public procurement. In particular, it was recommended that information about the beneficial owners of companies participating in public procurement processes should be made more accessible, the websites with information on public procurement should be reconstructed, etc.
The recommendations for the fields of economic competition and provision of licenses included suggestions of a number of legislative reforms. In addition, it was recommended ensuring transparency and analyzing the potential impact that granting privileges to certain businessmen can have on small and medium businesses, etc.
In the end, the raised problems were summarized. They will be worked out and presented to the Government in the future.
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