The Activity of Parliament during 16-20 June 2003
23 June 2003
During last week's plenary meetings, the atmosphere of debates was rather calm and the hottest debates referred to the new Law on Inspection before Expedition. At the same time, among the drafts examined by the Parliament, there have been a series of important drafts, whose socio-economic consequences will soon emerge.
I. Law on the Amendment of the State Budget for 2003
ADEPT Comment: This law was adopted in relation to the application of the territorial administrative reform and is intended to regulate the redistribution of resources allocated for the second tier administrative territorial units. At the same time, expenditure rose by over 62 million lei, which are to be covered from the growing state tax and income tax payments by entrepreneurs.
For the moment, 62 million lei is the sum that is to be regarded as the first part of additional expenses for the application of the territorial administrative reform. Earlier, independent experts had estimated the overall cost of the reform at over 700 million lei.
II. Law on the Amendment of the Budget of Social Insurance
ADEPT Comment: This law provides for the necessary means for the implementation of some legislative acts such as:
- raising the monthly benefits payable to some pensioners who are residents of the territorial administrative units on the left bank of Nistru;
- indexation of pensions starting 1 April 2003;
- enhancing the fund for labour remuneration and, respectively, the accumulated contributions;
- the partial maintenance of youth sports school;
- enhancing, at the account of the extra income, the reserve fund of the social insurance budget, which is to increase up to 150 million lei etc.
III. Law on the Amendment of the Law on the Repatriation of Currency Means
ADEPT Comment: This law derogates from the general principles and provides that the term of repatriation of currency means for contracts of purchase of seeding vine material may be increased to 18 months of the date of conclusion of the contract.
This derogation has been necessary because the process of purchase of such material is usually a very long one, and it needs to be contracted in advance, with an advance payment.
IV. Law on the Amendment of Some Laws on Entrepreneurship
ADEPT Comment: This law has introduced a number of changes and additions to the laws regulating the entrepreneur activity, in order to improve the system of state and fiscal registration of economic agents.
In particular, the law provides for the following:
- the obligatory nature of publishing in the Official Monitor of notifications on changes in the name of the enterprise or payment sanctions of damage/interests;
- the procedure of determination by courts of the liquidator of the enterprise in the event of legal liquidation;
- the method of registration or suspension of the activity of an enterprise or organisation;
- the simplified procedure of excluding enterprises and organisations from the state registry etc.
V. Conception on the Orientation and Training of Human Resources
ADEPT Comment: The conception adopted by the Parliament determines the aims, tasks, principles and fundamental directions of state policy on the efficient use of human resources.
The conception includes several chapters, as follows:
- general provisions;
- aims, objectives, tasks and basic principles;
- directions, methods and basic elements of the professional orientation and psychological support regarding career orientation and professional training;
- legislative, normative, organisational and didactical support;
- funding of the national system of orientation and professional training;
- management of the national system of orientation and professional training;
- stages of application of the conception.
VI. Draft Law on Inspection before Expedition, adopted in the first reading
ADEPT Comment: Earlier, following long and controversial debates, the deputies had voted in several readings a new law on inspection before expedition, which provided for at least two companies to be selected through competition, the list of good to be subject to inspection to be compiled by the Government, and conflicts to be settled according to current civil and economic laws.
That law was rejected by the International Monetary Fund that found it to be running counter to the memorandum of assistance to the Republic of Moldova and, implicitly, a major condition for resuming foreign funding to our country. The dragged out solution of the problem has already resulted in a delay in granting Moldova the ordinary SAC-III instalment due in June. Should the IMF conditions be met and the inspection carried out before 21 July 2003, the possibility of resuming funding to Moldova could be considered in September 2003 and new funding could be granted by the end of the year.
During the 19 June meeting, upon Government's insistence, the deputies cancelled the votes on the previous law on inspection before expedition and adopted a new law in the first reading. The following essential changes have been made to the latter:
- the contract is to be concluded with only one company;
- the list of goods to be subject to inspection is to be approved by the Government (thus, the political involvement of deputies will be avoided);
- conflicts between the Government and the company, as well as those between entrepreneurs and the company will be solved according to a special procedure, only when the provisions of a special package are breached and only by a special commission. Only in the event that all of the above requirements are met and a compromise has not be reached will the interested party bring the case to a national or international court.
The debates over this law have shown once again that the homogeneity of the majority faction is breaking up and ever more of its representatives oppose the proposals of the Government, disregarding the consequences that such positions might trigger for our country internationally.
VII. The Draft Law on the Cancellation of Financial Penalties and Sanctions, adopted in the first reading
ADEPT Comment: This law proposes that for the period of 1 April 2003 to 31 October 2003, the agricultural producers who have suffered losses as a result of natural calamities be not applied penalties to the sums that they owe to the consolidated state budget and the state social insurance budget.
Also, it is proposed that all penalties and 80% of fines as of 1 April 2003 be cancelled for the agricultural producers who had suffered losses as a result of the natural calamities of 2002 and winter-spring of 2003.
The law also proposes that the Government approve the list of agricultural producers who fall under these provisions.
VIII. Draft Law on the Completion of the Code of Commercial Maritime Navigation of the Republic of Moldova
ADEPT Comment: The law proposes that the right of navigation under Moldovan flags is granted to ships registered in the ship register and which satisfy the following requirements:
- are owned by physical or legal persons of the Republic of Moldova;
- are owned by physical or legal persons from abroad;
- are explored according to the ship renting or leasing contract.
Also, the law provides that the ship owners who have registered their ships with the ship register be exempted from paying fees and taxes according to current laws.