Parliament activity, March 22-26, 2004
30 March 2004
Stormy political debates have calmed down and this for several reasons. For a start, it is largely due to regrouping among political forces and their secret negotiations. Until there is a clear election strategy and position towards party in power, political parties remain tight lipped about joining any electoral block and refrain from rattling about calls to form coalitions.
Another reason is that ruling party has eased the pressure wielded on opposition leaders. Moreover, during its March 25 session majority faction voted in favour of restoring Lidia Gutu as Head of Social Protection Commission, formerly designated to the position by "Braghis Alliance". The move was explained by the "need to promote women in politics and to key positions", as well as "to show that relations between majority faction and opposition are constructive".
On the other hand, those relationships are still tensed. And this despite the fact that Ministry of Interior did answer to questions Christian-Democrats long insisted on.
On March 25 deputies examined a number of legal acts, which we would consider in greater detail below:
I. Law on modification of the law on taking in and out of the country goods by natural entities
ADEPT Comment: Modifications to the law are:
- Granting natural entities the right to take out of the Republic of Moldova: goods for trade or manufacturing activity in amount not exceeding 100,000 Euro; metal or precious stones pieces manufactured by authorised businesses and that do not exceed the aforesaid amount;
- Granting natural entities resident in the Republic of Moldova the right to bring in vehicles in use for no more than 10 years for a time period of up to 45 days without any customs fee on condition: vehicles should be registered in other countries on the name of persons residents in the Republic of Moldova; a guarantee (in national or foreign currency) shall be deposited at the customs checkpoint equal to twice the taxes due; after 45 days vehicles shall leave the soil of the Republic of Moldova and the guarantee shall be refunded.
Currently the amount is 2,000 Euro, which is viewed as being too low, whereas the interdiction as being too restrictive for the market economy and promotion of economic ties on the international scale.
Noteworthy, the move was severely criticised both by opposition and ruling party that argued the law facilitated capital exodus from the country. In response lawmakers pointed that once goods were taken out of the country, the money they were bought on, stayed in the country.
II. Law on completing the Code on Administrative Offence
ADEPT Comment: The law completes the Code on Administrative Offence with a new article 17423 "Breaching the law on state representation in economic societies".
This article provides sanctions ranging 3,600 and 54,000 Lei for: violation of rights and legal interests of the state during the establishment, operation, reorganisation and liquidation of societies, thereby the state shall be ascribed the role of participant having unlimited rights or its participation quota in registered capital shall be decreased, in cases prohibited by law; concealing the conditions in which a state representative holds or has got a patrimonial interest in the economic enterprise and failed to notify authorised bodies; concealing data on economic or financial activity or any other information that state authorities is entitled to request, etc.
III. Law on modification of legal acts regulating operative activity, holding guns and licensing of certain types of activity
ADEPT Comment: The law brings a number of legal acts in accordance with the provisions of the new Code on Penal Procedures and Law on Private Detectives and Security. Noteworthy, the draft raised a rich harvest of criticism. In the eyes of many it is too restrictive and grants a too broad mandate to Ministry of Internal Affairs and other state structures on the expense of similar private structures.
IV. Draft law on freezing and restructuring the debt of medical and sanitary institutions
ADEPT Comment: The draft passed in the first reading envisages freezing for a two year period the debts to the state social security fund incurred by medical institutions, as well as restructuring for another five years the aforesaid debt once the freezing period expires. The cost of the move is estimated at 36 million Lei. Government claims that the current state of affairs thwarts any attempt to enforce obligatory medical insurance.
V. Draft law on modification of the law on budgetary process
ADEPT Comment: The draft passed in the first reading entitles State Treasury units to execute the writ of execution and court ruling related to extracting funds from state budget or funds of state-funded institution, in case the latter failed to present in due time payment documents.
Under current law, budget executor (i.e. heads of public institutions) should transmit writs to executors of the treasury, however they never do, thereby postponing the execution, which in turn was subject to sanctions and fines. However, those amendments would allow avoiding such cases. It also might deprive local public administration of the funds needed for activities, in cases when there are writs of execution for huge amounts. One of the recurring issues during the discussions was responsibility of Ministries and decision-makers who due to their lack of competence or abuses prejudice against law subjects, who later regain their rights in court, thus incurring additional costs to the state.
VI. Draft law on granting local public administration the right to sell plots and real estate
ADEPT Comment: The law passed in the first reading entrusts rayon public administration to sell plots surrounding enterprises, housing and real estate and agricultural societies. The need to pass the law stems from the fact that local agencies of the Privatisation Department were shut down, whereas their functions are now to be taken over by local authorities in line with the decentralisation and local autonomy principles.