Parliament Activity, November 8-12, 2004
19 November 2004
High on the Parliament agenda during the aforesaid period was the Law on the State Budget for 2005. Deputies both from the majority faction and the opposition presented many suggestions and objections regarding this document. Requests from other public administration, professional, educational and trade union institutions and organizations were also examined. Most of the proposals lacking financial argumentation were rejected as their expenses were reaching up to one billion Lei.
During the final discussion one made a decision that the estimated resources for 2005 be oriented towards the 30 percent increase in wages of teachers from education institutions as well as from science and innovation fields.
Also, the sources needed for the indemnities for children's birth and the food ration for primary school pupils were increased. In addition, the Parliament decided to increase the state contribution to the agrarian sector support fund with 20 million lei. Parliament also decided to increase with 3 million lei the allocations for the Department of Penitentiary Institutions, although, the decision taken this year regarding the amnesty of certain categories of persons is supposed to reduce the expenses of these institutions. The allocations for the courts of law were increased with 1.5 million lei and were intended to endow them with the necessary inventory and equipment.
The Parliament supported the proposals regarding the increase of allocations for:
- state co-financing with 2 million Lei of a grant offered by the American CRDF Foundation; these resources will be used for the technical endowment of the library of the Academy of Science;
- ATU Gagauzia with 3 million Lei;
- support of activities regarding the extension and protection of forestry with 11 million Lei;
- a 5-million increase of allocations for the employees of Center for Fighting Corruption and Organized Crime, for equipment and meals.
Parliament decided to reorient the sources for financing the participation quota in the procurement and construction of housing for the central public authorities in a total amount of approximately 2 million Lei.
Besides the Law on state budget for 2005, the Parliament examined other legal acts; some of them raised the general interest due to the aspects they involve and the attention by different social structures.
I. Law on Granting Additional Land for Building the Agricultural Market
ADEPT Comment: Under the law passed by the Parliament, 8 ha of farm land will be provided for the extension of "Gradina Moldovei" Commercial Center. Previously, the Parliament has allotted 3 ha of land for the dislocation of the respective Commercial center and Northern Bus Station, which are to substitute the current Market and Central Bus Station.
By increasing the surface, one plans to adjust the respective center to Western European standards on retail and wholesale trade of agricultural products and food, reaching an outlet capacity of 100 thousand tones per year. The aim of the commercial center is to offer to the businesses and the physical entities the possibility to trade directly the agricultural production.
While discussing the draft, the opposition asked the Government and Parliament to provide information regarding the coordination of the planned constructions with the authorities of the local public administration from Chisinau Municipality. In response it was declared that the construction is made on the land belonging to the central authorities, with the approval of institutions authorized to perform the expertise and authorization of constructions.
It should be mentioned that previously the Government has undertaken several measures to improve the activity of Central Agricultural Market from Chisinau but all these attempts failed, the current situation bearing the same negative connotations (lack of an efficient quality control mechanism, presence of multiple intermediaries, blocking of the circulation in the neighboring streets etc.). The police actions against unauthorized vendors raised street protests and the negative attitude of municipal mayor's office.
II. Law on the Recovery of Tobacco Enterprises
ADEPT Comment: Parliament decided to suspend the financial penalties and sanctions of certain tobacco enterprises for not disbursing in time the respective payments to the national budget and national social security budget, as well as the penalties for non-reimbursement of the credits granted by the Ministry of Finance.
In addition, local public administration was suggested to examine the possibility of canceling the financial penalties and sanctions of the above-mentioned enterprises for not disbursing in time the payments of local taxes. The cost thereof is estimated at 12 million Lei.
Outdated processing equipment, the considerable increase in the cost of energy resources and, implicitly, the abandonment of technical and technological base were the main reasons that caused the respective situation.
The sale of local tobacco products faces difficulties because of the massive penetration of tobacco products from China, India and other countries, which are delivered at lower prices compared to those of Moldovan market.
In the last years, the price of Moldovan tobacco products reduced from $1.7 to 1.1-1.25. Thus, the economic efficiency of the branch reduced, while the technical and material base for sorting and packaging of tobacco products in the local agricultural units degraded.
By reimbursing the bank credits and penalties calculated on them, the tobacco factories could not disburse the current payments to the national budget, social fund and local budgets. This caused new penalties and sanctions, calculated in accordance with the provisions of the legislation in the field at the given moment.
III. Law on the Reorganization of State Chancellery into Government Apparatus
ADEPT Comment: Parliament adopted in its first reading a draft law stipulating that a Government Apparatus will be created replacing the State Chancellery and will be managed by a director of the Apparatus. It will consist of the councilors of the Prime minister and groups of public servants specialized in the organization of the internal activity of the Executive. The idea of the respective reformation was launched recently by the President of Moldova who qualified the preservation of State Chancellery as an anachronism and as a persistence of the old working methods within the central public administration.
Although, it has been voted in its first reading, the draft raised many objections from most of the deputies who were against the procedure of the respective reorganization, the legal succession and the status of the Government Apparatus employees. One also mentioned the need to determine in advance the status of the offices of the State Chancellor that insure the verification of the control of the legality of acts issued by the local public administration.
The parliamentarians objected to the obligatory knowledge of Russian and Moldovan language for the servants who will be employed in the Government Apparatus, as well as to the interdiction of functioning of party organizations and public associations within the Government Apparatus.
Several independent experts have expressed contradictory opinions regarding the reasons that determined the reorganization of State Chancellery. They invoked the need to avoid the accountability on civil cases where the Government is attacked, the desire to avoid the patrimonial prosecution in lost legal trials, the desire to subordinate certain structures of the Chancellery to other central structures, etc.
IV. The draft law regarding the control of legality of acts passed by ATU Gagauzia
ADEPT Comment: The deputies adopted in the first reading a draft law that establishes the mechanism to control the legality of the acts issued by the public authorities from ATU Gagauzia.
The project proposes that the control over the legality of normative acts of public authorities from ATU Gagauzia be exercised by Government through State Chancellery.
It provides that in case contradictions are found with the Constitution and legislation in force, when verifying the legality of acts issued by the Gagauz authorities, the Government shall notify the issuing authorities about the illegality of the verified act, requesting its modification, or total or partial abrogation. In case the issuing authorities maintain their position or do not reexamine the contested act within the given timeframe, the Government shall refer to the Court of Appeal in Comrat, in the proceeding of the solicitor's office.
The need to adopt the modifications is dictated by the adjustments made previously to the Constitution of Moldova due to which the Supreme Law was completed with a special article dedicated to ATU Gagauzia.