YEREVAN, March 28. /ARKA/. Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan said today the government would not backtrack on its earlier decision to raise dramatically the size of duties paid by owners of pawnshops and money exchange offices.
According to the proposed changes, the annual duty on running a pawnshop is to increase from the current 100 thousand drams (about $204) to 6 million drams (about $12 thousand), and for money exchange offices -from the current 50,000 drams ($102) to 3 million drams (about $6.1 thousand ).
The decision is opposed by the Union of Currency Dealers, which argues that it would force 80% of money exchange offices to shut down
According to Grigoryan, the dialogue with representatives of pawnshops is impossible. In his words, the amount of duty these companies pay now is simply ridiculous
Tigran Urikhanyan, a lawmaker from the Prosperous Armenia party, said pawnshop owners are going to protest the decision on March 28 in front of the government building.