Retrospective 2002: Economy
January 21, 2003
Political events of the 2002 determined the Parliament to focus on legal and institutional reforms, social security and foreign policy. Noteworthy, in 2001 the Parliament was concerned mainly with entrepreneurship: it passed the Law on Insolvency, Law on Licensing, Law on Cooperatives, Law on Tobacco, Law on Pledge, Law on Free Economic Zones, Title V of the Fiscal Code, etc.
However, in 2002 the Parliament worked to improve the legal framework in the field, namely:
I) On February 14, 2002 the Parliament passed the Law on Salaries.
ADEPT comment: The Law regulates economic, legal and organizational issues related to remuneration of the employees working based on labor contracts. The next step in the enforcement of the Concept of the salary reform should have been the Law on Remuneration from the State Budget (i.e. of the public officers, law enforcement, medical workers, teachers, etc). The said draft law hasn't been developed so far and the salaries are still calculated according to the old procedure (1993) based on the minimal salary worth 18 lei, that is why benefits and additions are calculated, which are frequently higher that the salary itself.
II) On April 25, 2002 the Parliament passed the Law on Production Cooperatives.
ADEPT comment: The law defines production cooperative as private law enterprise established by five or more legal entities in view of conducting joint production or economic activity based on the labor and quotas of the founding members. So far no analysis has been conducted to assess the enforcement of the law, although upon its adoption experts claimed it would boost the number of production cooperatives.
III) Also on April 25, 2002 Parliament passed the Law on modification and completion of the Land Code.
ADEPT comment: The law was aimed to prepare the restoration of collective farms, by allowing the consolidation of land plots. Criticism from international organizations determined Communists to change their initial plans. In its final version the law establishes the procedures for the consolidation of the land plots, however it does not allow for the unification of means of production and plots in view of collective farming.
IV) On July 19, 2002 Parliament passed the Law on modification and completion of the Law on normative price of land and sale-purchase procedure.
ADEPT comment: The law extends until January 1, 2005 the term for privatized units to purchase the nearby plots for a preferential fee, i.e. 0.25 of the normative price. Numerous businessmen, who failed to privatize the nearby plots insisted on this modification, otherwise they would have to pay the entire normative price.
V) On April 18, 2002 the Law on Evaluation of Assets.
ADEPT comment: The law provides definitions used in assets evaluation (evaluator, certificate on qualification, evaluation report, (market, estimated) value, etc; evaluation types and methods;
evaluation of estate in view of taxation; conditions for evaluation activity; local government competencies with regard to evaluation; evaluator's rights and obligations.
VI) At the end of the year Parliament passed the Law on distribution of copies of literary works and phonograms.
ADEPT comment: The law requires obligatory registration as a producer or distributor of literary works and phonograms. The said works should be marked with obligatory stamps. All the products delivered or sold without the aforesaid stamp shall be deemed as counterfeit and be confiscated or destroyed. The law would ensure the observance of the rights on intellectual property and copyright. Experts mentioned that one of the negative impacts the law might have would be the huge raise in the price of the said products.
VII) In October 2002, Parliament passed the Law on Public Services and Communal Husbandry.
ADEPT comment: The relevant law establishes a single and unitary legal framework regulating the set up and operation of communal husbandry entities in administrative-territorial units, control over their activities. The Law includes provisions on: types of communal husbandry public services; set up and operation of the public services; right to benefit of the services provided; funding and investments; responsibilities of the local public administration with regard to communal husbandry services, etc.
VIII) In 2002 Parliament passed a series of international acts related to economy and boosting entrepreneurship. To cite only the most important:
- CIS Convention on protecting investors' rights.
- CIS Agreement on investment cooperation.
Given the fact that there are positive and even encouraging results in the 2002 economic year, we may conclude that less state interference and regulation has proved to be more benefic than "excessive care" of the ruling party.