Parliament Activity, October 4-8, 2004
22 October 2004
During the aforesaid period Parliament convened on a plenary session, which lasted longer than usual. Parliament heard Minister of Energetics, Iacob Timciuc. He assured the legislature that the heating system was ready for the cold season and that once it got cold it would start operating. Nevertheless, the Minister remained tight lipped on the fate of the indebted apartment blocks whether they would be connected to the heating system or not, and on the eventuality of Russia reducing gas supply and the risks such a move might bring given Moldova's dependence on Gazprom.
During the same session, there was also a hearing of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Prosecuter General. Both of them answered Christian-Democrats' questions on legality of resorting to force against demonstrators in front of Casa Radio. The two claimed police actions were in line with the law, as they attempted to prevent unauthorized protest rallies. They stated Deputy Mayor's decision to authorize the protests had been illegal and was later suspended by Municipal prosecution.
Parliament also examined a number of laws, some of which shall be considered in greater detail.
I. Law on Recalculating Pensions
ADEPT Comment: According to the Law on Recalculating Pensions, as of November 1, 2004 pensions for age limit, disability, and heir shall be recalculated. The first two will be recalculated by changing the formula. The surplus brought by recalculation should be no less than 25% of the established pension.
Under the law, as of November 1 total pension shall not be less than:
- 219,00 Lei - pension for age limit for former agricultural employees;
- 246,00 Lei - pension for age limit for other categories of pensioners;
- 175,00 Lei - pension for I degree disability;
- 169,00 Lei - pension for II degree disability;
- 119,00 Lei - pension for III degree disability.
It is estimated that the move would require 490 million Lei. In the eyes of many experts it is a huge mistake to take such social and election oriented moves, before having a clear picture on how well the budget for this year was enforced.
II. Law on Wine Sale during Wine Festival
ADEPT Comment: On the eve of National Wine Holiday celebrated the third year now, deputies passed this law. It enables companies taking part in the exhibit organized as part of the Wine Festival to sell en detail their products without any license being needed. The maximum amount established was 2 thousand bottles.
III. Law on Ratification of Memorandum of Understanding between Republic of Moldova and Denmark on Cooperation in view of Enforcing the Depolluted Development Mechanism provided for in the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
ADEPT Comment: Under the Memorandum, Republic of Moldova would cooperate with Denmark by trading its emission quotas in exchange for technologies and projects reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, the parties examine the possibility of undertaking projects using gas from waste and gas methane produced by "Apa-Canal" enterprise to produce electricity. Republic of Moldova joined Kyoto protocol on February 13, 2003.
IV. Draft law on privatization of enterprises to the left of Dniester river and Bender Municipality
ADEPT Comment: The draft was initiated by the President in an attempt to prevent alienation of property towards Tiraspol secessionist authorities. Previously, the Parliament passed another law, thereby it did not guarantee property rights on entities privatized without Chisinau's prior agreement. The new draft, passed in the first reading, was supposed to define privatization procedures.
The law seeks to ensure observance of the social and property rights of the people residing on the left bank of Dniester and Bender Municipality, and prevent any infringement of their rights. The law does not apply to agricultural enterprises.
The following are entitled to take part in the privatization.
- Employees of the privatized enterprise;
- Former employees of the privatized enterprises at the time the law entered into force and were ousted on other grounds than infringement of the labour law, and are currently not employed;
- Pensioners, who worked in the enterprise undergoing privatization before retiring;
- Military, who before recruitment worked in the enterprise undergoing privatization.
Enterprises would be transferred for free into the private property of the aforesaid participants.
Privatization Agreement shall be drawn and signed by the Privatization Department representative, as representative of the public administration on the one hand; and Privatization Council, entrusted to act in the name of privatization participants on the other.
The Government is to decide on the calling and holding staff general assemblies, participants in the privatization process, decision making and distribution of shares.
Under the law, all privatization agreements that were concluded by infringing this law and other normative acts of the Republic of Moldova shall be declared null. The state would only guarantee property rights on enterprises if they were privatized in line with the Republic of Moldova law.
In the eyes of many experts the real goal of the project it to encourage employees of the Transdnistrian enterprises to take an active role and prevent alienation of property. On the other hand, the law would respond to numerous accusations coming from Transdnistria that Moldovan authorities "seek to take over the property preserved in Transdniestria". Thus each and every employee of the enterprise would get a chance to become its cofounder, thus the state guaranteeing his/her right on the stake. So far, there was no official response to the draft from Transdniestria.
V. Draft law on the modification of the Code of Administrative Offence and toughening sanctions for statistics offences
ADEPT Comment: The draft provides for:
- Toughening sanctions for the failure to declare in due time or incorrectly of statistics data by responsible persons;
- Sanctions for publishing the data provided by individuals in questionnaires, without their prior approval.
There were many allegations made by politicians that the census conducted by the Statistics Department would be used by the authorities only if they liked its results, otherwise they won't be made public.