Parliament Activity Review June 24-28, 2002
July 1, 2002
During the time covered by the commentary, Moldovan deputies managed to examine and adopt a series of very important laws. We should consider some of those as follows.
Legislative acts passed in the final reading
I). Law on Ratification of the Agreement on Third Structural Adjustments Credit.
ADEPT comment: On June 20, the much-awaited external aid to the Republic of Moldova has been resumed, when World Bank approved SAC-III, worth US$ 30 million. The Parliament ratified the Agreement, providing for 3 installments of the credit, which will be repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period, with an interest rate of 0.75 %. The respective credit shall be used to cover the budget deficit, as it has already been provided for in the Law on State Budget for year 2002.
II). Law on approving the draft law on the Ratification of the Memorandum of understanding "Netherlands program on economic cooperation with the Republic of Moldova in 2002-2003".
ADEPT comment: The relevant program provides for technical aid, worth Euro 1,5 million, in agriculture, industry and infrastructure. Especially, preference would be given to projects aiming to produce alternative energy and environmentally clean products.
III). Law on the Ratification of the Agreement on coordinating the policies on transportation fees.
ADEPT comment: The Agreement was signed on January 17, 1997 in Moscow in view of ensuring the quality and profitability of the services provided by the States members to the Agreement on goods and passengers transportation. The law is intended to standardize the laws regulating the transport fees, to promote a balanced customs policy, to establish and provide transport corridors for the traffic of goods, etc.
IV). Law on the ratification of the Agreement on small business development in the CIS.
ADEPT comment: The agreement is aimed to establish a national and international infrastructure for the development of the small business, establishment of cooperation between businesses, and for the adjustment of member states' legal framework. By improving the legal framework the economic, investment and commercial cooperation of the small business shall be boosted. The Agreement includes provisions on protecting the rights and interests of legal and natural entities conducting entrepreneurial activity.
V). Law on modification of the Fiscal Code.
ADEPT comment: The law completes and amends the Fiscal Code as follows:
- Exempts from excises domestically and foreign produced TV.
- Levies excises on imported diesel.
VI). Law on modification and completion of Fiscal Code.
ADEPT comment: The amendments are due to enter in force on July 1, 2002. The grounds for amending the Fiscal Code were the changes made in the fiscal and financial control bodies, especially with regard to:
- Competencies of the Center for Fighting Economic Crime and Corruption;
- Improving the current wording by eliminating the flaws and inconsistencies;
- Excluding sanctions not regulated by the fiscal law;
- Decreasing sanctions for fiscal offences;
- Excluding provisions on binding reporting of various data;
- Excluding non-normative provisions.
Generally, this law is aimed to establish milder regulation for the businesses so as to abolish the pressing from the state bodies. The new law is to meet the demands of businessmen who long ago disapproved the adoption of Title V of the Fiscal Code due to its tough rules.
By passing the law the governing reached a consensus with businessmen, satisfying some of their claims in exchange for their legal business (not shadow one).
Legal acts passed in the first reading (not final)
I). Draft Law on Notary.
ADEPT comment: The notary has been in the spotlight for a long time. The private notary was set in 1997 upon the adoption of the Law on the Notary. During the last couple of years, the Law has been modified several times, while some of its provisions have been outlawed.
The following were the most common complaints on the law:
- It established a notary "elite", not allowing outside contestants;
- It decreased the state role in overseeing the notary activity, which allowed for abuses and lack of responsibility;
- High prices of notary services.
The draft law is aimed to meet those challenges by:
- Abolishing the influence of the Notary Union;
- Establishing tougher control mechanisms to be employed by the Ministry of Justice in overseeing the notary;
- Developing the Methodology for Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economy set the fees for the notary services, as a recommendation.
The debates in Parliament highlighted a series of flaws related to: internship period, authorizing a state body to produce stationery, expenditures to be deducted from the notary gross income; establishing a disciplinary commission, establishing a binding fee calculation methodology, etc.
Besides the said law, the Parliament passed in the first reading a draft law on payments for the notary services and their taxation. Under the draft, the payments shall be divided into several categories:
- State tax to be transferred to the state budget;
- Legal tax to be transferred to the Ministry of Justice;
- Notary honorarium to be separately taxed.
Also under the draft, a special Chapter shall be included in the Fiscal Code regarding the notary taxation and shall include several articles:
- Subjects of taxation;
- Purpose of taxation;
- Expenses of the Public notary;
- Tax quotas, etc.
II). Draft law on public communal services.
ADEPT comment: Under the draft, a single legal framework shall be established regulating the set up and operation of communal services in the administrative-territorial units, monitoring and control over those services.
The draft provides for: types of communal services (mutual or public benefit); administering communal services; right to the provided services; funding and investments; rights and responsibilities of the local government with regard to public communal services.
The draft law is aimed to establish an order in this field, as the communal services were decentralized while no conditions had been established for their normal operation. Once the law is enforced an infrastructure of communal services shall be developed as well as communities will be entitled to draft their territorial development programs.
III). Draft law on modification and completion of certain legislative acts.
ADEPT comment: The draft shall ensure the enforcement of the Law on Entrepreneurial Cooperative Society. It provides:
- Liability for:
- The use of company goods by violating the company internal regulations;
- Failure to properly submit the documents for inclusion in the State Register of Companies;
- Breaching the rights of the participants to the commercial partnership.
- Regulation of the status of entrepreneurial cooperative society in the Law on Entrepreneurship.
- Specifying in the Law on State Registration of Companies and Other Types of Organizations, the documents required for the registration of the entrepreneurial cooperative society.
IV). Law on modification and completion of the Law on Repatriation of Funds.
ADEPT comment: Amendments have been suggested so as to improve the mechanism of calculating the term of repatriation and that of imposing sanctions, to establish cases when sanctions are not applied.
The draft also provide for:
- Definition of the leasing notion,
- Force majeure cases when sanctions are not due, etc.
As the draft law was very much debated in Parliament, we shall come up with a more detailed commentary later on.