Justice Minister Discusses ArmenTel

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At the February 5 session of the interim commission of the National Assembly–which studies the activities of the government in the field of communications–Justice Minister David Harutiunian said there are doubts that the ArmenTel company has not fulfilled its investment obligations.

The minister–as a permanent representative of the Armenian side–was not inclined to prove the incompletely analyzed information from a legal viewpoint.

The question is whether the fact of underfulfilment of the investment could be used for the purpose of casting doubt on the monopoly right of the company.

Minister Harutiunian also reported that studies the activities of the government in the communication sphere shows that the debt of the Armenian government to ArmenTel for rendered services totals to about $4 million.

Initiated by Deputy Arshak Sadoyan–deputies’ signatures are being collected to call on a special session for this matter.

It is suggested that a bill amending the current law on telecommunications be discussed–according to which it is envisaged to suspend the application of the per-minute payment scheme until equal conditions for users have been ensured.

Harutiunian informed the journalists that it is possible to suspend the per-minute payment on a legal level–but the problem is who will indemnify the economic agent for losses because the per-minute payment is guaranteed by documen’s.

Such a decision of the legislative body would compel the Armenian parliament to indemnify the losses from a legal viewpoint.

At the same session of the interim commission–the minister also informed the deputies that from now on–upon the Armenian side’s demand–a permanently working specialist instead of the deputy minister–will represent the interests of Armenia at the ArmenTel board of directors.

As a result of the negotiations with ArmenTel–an agreement has been reached. According to this agreement–the company will forgive the government all debts existing as of March 9–1998.

The debts of those liquidated structures–in whose relation ArmenTel didn’t present its deman’s in a prescribed order–will also be annulled. After this–independent experts will estimate real estate–which the company occupies in the whole territory of the republic–and the debt of the government will be partly paid off.

According to–Minister Harutiunian–the issue of paying off the remaining part of the debts will be discussed in the future.


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