Society 14:02 18/09/2020 Armenia

Clothing and shoe traders protest outside Armenian government

A group of entrepreneurs engaged in clothing and footwear trade staged a protest in front of the Armenian government building on Friday, complaining about the government’s new customs clearance pricing policy.

Under the new customs rules, importers have to pay customs clearance fees for each item separately, with the total amount depending on the value of the product itself. Whereas previously they customs cleared the imported goods according to their weight.

The traders stress according to the new rules the customs fees will spike, leading to a significant increase in prices for clothing and footwear in the domestic market. 

The businesses owners have been protesting against the new regulations for several times already, but, as they claim, the authorities refuse to meet their demand to allow them to work under the previous rules for at least one year.

One of the protesters disagreed with the authorities’ claims that the move is aimed at boosting domestic production, arguing all the materials for making clothing and footwear are imported from abroad.

Another protesting trader deplored Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s policies, urging him to stand up for people and protect their interests instead of introducing rules which would make it harder for them to survive.

“Once the borders reopen, 80 percent of the people in Armenia will leave the country. Instead of supporting people, he [the premier] is hitting them in the pocket. They would not listen to us, as it’s not in their interests,” the protester said.

Another entrepreneur added that he cannot pay off his loans in Armenian banks or his debts in Turkey now.

Denouncing the government’s decision to increase the customs fees amid the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he added the move would have been somehow justified if people's salaries and pensions had risen twofold. 



Source Panorama.am
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