THE SECTOR ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC POLICY COMMITTEE DISCUSSING THE DRAFT LAW ON GEORGIAN PATENT
The Committee discussed with the II reading the Draft on Georgian Patent, granting the European patent validated in Georgia the same legal force and subjecting thereof to the same conditions as the application for the national patent.
The draft was introduced by the Deputy Chair of the National Intellectual Property Center “Sakpatenti” Beka Dochviri.
According to him, the Draft is entailed by the enactment of the Agreement between Georgia and the European Patent Office on the Validation of European Patents.
The Committee approved the draft.
The joint sitting of the Regional Policy and Self-Government and the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committees
The Committees heard the report by the Minster of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Zurab Alavidze on ongoing and scheduled infrastructural projects. The report provided information about road infrastructure, water supply and sewerage, solid waste management, restoration of cultural heritage monuments and arrangement of adjacent territories, as well as urban transport development projects. Up to 2500 infrastructural projects shall be implemented for 2020 countrywide, 1000 km road construction and rehabilitation is scheduled and 350 km of which will constitute highways and 750 km regional roads. Besides, up to 0.5 ml people will enjoy 24-hour water supply, 7 new regional landfills will be constructed according to the European standards. More than 120 public and cultural objects will be rehabilitated. The Minister also answered the questions.
According to the Chair of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee, Roman Kakulia, development of infrastructural projects is the priority of the 4-point plan. “We concentrate on one of the most important possibilities – our geo-political situation and will mobilize resources, which means that we move to the long-term approach regime. It will have the greatest impact on transit function implementation, being the mile-stone for our multilateral development, including tourism to ensure rapid development of the country”.
The Committee gave the positive estimation to the report. The Regional Committee gave the positive estimation to the report as well.
The Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee left the sitting and the Regional Policy and Self-Government Committee started consideration of the drafts by the Political Unions of Citizens (New Rights, New Georgia, New Christian-Democrats, United Democratic Movement, Democratic Movement-United Georgia, European Democrats, National Forum, Free Democrats, Free Georgia, Freedom, Labor Party, Movement State for People, Alliance of Patriots, Union of Traditionalists, Law-enforcement Veterans and Patriots) on organic law on Election Code; organic law on Municipal Code, and organic law on Tbilisi.
The drafts envisage reforming of the elections of the municipal representative agencies – City Councils. Namely, the single mandate districts to be set according to the decision of the Constitutional Court ensuring the principle of equality of votes. The mandates are distributed according to the German model. The drafts also envisages reduction of thresholds and mandates shall be distributed amongst the electoral subjects overcoming 3%.
The drafts were introduced by the leaders of the non-Parliamentary political parties, Mamuka Katsitadze, Kakha Kukava and Giorgi Akhvlediani. The Committee did not support the offered version.
According to the Deputy-Chair, Merab Kvaraia, the Chair and MPs consider that experience of any party or politician is important, so they are ready to discuss it with qualified political parties. All the issues need to be further specified, clarified and improved.
The sitting of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee
The Committee considered the Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Preferential Origin Rules, introduced by the Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Tabuashvili. The Convention aims at transformation of the bilateral protocols between Pan-Euro-Mediterranean countries on origin of goods into the multilateral protocols and creation of uniform origin system. After accessing the Convention, the product shall have the status of originated in Georgia even it is produced out of raw material from other countries Georgia has the Free Trade Agreement with. Convention unites 23 member states currently. The Committee supported the draft.
The Deputy-Agrarian Minister, Nodar Kereselidze introduced the draft on Admission of Agricultural Species for Distribution and Seed-breeding Subject to Mandatory Certification. The draft defines uniform principles of state regulation for admission of agricultural crops for distribution, seeds and plants under mandatory certification. As elucidated, there is no seed-breeding system and seed quality and standard compliance control system in Georgia, which entailed development of the draft. The legal acts have also been adopted providing compliance of seed-breeding schemes with OECD schemes. The Committee supported the draft.
The Committee considered with the III reading the draft on Labor Migration and supported it. GNCC introduced the draft on Broadcasting, envisaging the changes to the drafts on: E-Communications; License and Permission Fees; License and Permits; and National Regulation Agencies. The draft aims at development of media literacy. The changes derive from the tasks: development of informative society, increase of involvement of society in state and public life of all social groups and generations in digital area, protection of fundamental human rights, personal data protection, protection of minors from hazardous impact etc. The Changes are entailed under EUAA obligations. According to the Chair, Roman Kakulia, the draft is acceptable but some issues shall be further specified.
The Agrarian Issues and the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committees considered the initial version of the draft State Budget 2017
The draft was introduced by the Deputy-Finance Minister, Lasha Khutsishvili. The assignments are defined with 10.555 bl. GEL, including budget funds – 9.520 bl., grants – 135 ml GEL and credits – 900 ml GEL. In 2017, the provisions related to so-called Estonian model of profit tax reform implemented in 2016 in the Tax Code will enact.
The provisions envisage taxation of distributed profit only. Particular attention was attached to the assignments envisaged for the Ministries of Agriculture; Regional Development and Infrastructure.
According to the Chair of Agrarian Issues Committee, Gela Gelashvili, the budget shall reflect financing of the programs important for the field: food safety, plant protection and epizootic safety, viticulture and scientific-research activities in agriculture. MPs expressed remarks and opinions.
As L. Khutsishvili stated, the draft will be further revised upon the II and III readings. The draft is under development in coordination with the Ministries and the respective Committees and the final draft will envisage maximal financing of the programs ensuring social welfare of the population and economic progress of the country.
The Committees also considered the Agreement between Georgia and Liechtenstein on Prevention of Double Taxation on Income and Elimination of Non-Payment. The document envisages the issues of taxation of incomes earned from activity of the legal entities and natural persons in another country, as well as prevention of non-payment.
The joint sitting of the Sector Economy
The Committees considered the draft on Tax Code by Giorgi Zhorzholiani and Gela Samkharauli, envisaging extension of tax remissions for agricultural cooperatives in income, profit and property taxes till January 1, 2018 instead of January 1, 2017. The change is adopted to the transitional provisions defining the term for obtainment of special trade zone status and for compliance of the taxes for market with legislation till January 1, 2018.
G. Zhorzholiani introduced the draft on Protection of Ambient Air, envisaging the Government, in view of reduction of pollution of ambient air with hazardous substances and taking the EU requirements into account, shall endorse the fuel quality norms and other requirements. The draft prohibits import, production and utilization of the fuel which fails to meet the norms and regulations developed by the Government. The term “petroleum” and “diesel” shall be replaced with “fuel”.
The draft on Diplomatic Service was introduced by the Deputy-Economic Minister, Irma Kavtaradze. The draft establishes new diplomatic position – commercial attaché. The commercial attaché shall be appointed by the Economic Minister with agreement of the Foreign Minister. The commercial attaché can be accredited with the agreement of the residence state in two or more countries.
The Committees considered the European Agreement on International Carriage of Dangerous Goods and the drafts on: Motor Vehicles; Road Traffic.
The Agreement, signed on September 30, 1957 in Geneva on ADR aims at increased security of international carriage and defines the list of the dangerous goods attributed to land transportation. The terms include: classification of dangerous goods, packaging, documentation and requirements lodged to the carriers, the load of cargo, isolation and unloading. The agreement provides the special requirements concerning the transportation operations, driver training and vehicle constructions. The agreement binds the signatory countries to accept and let the vehicles of other countries of they meet the agreement terms. The agreement reserves the right of the parties to prohibit entry of dangerous goods. The descriptions “dangerous goods” entails technical changes to the drafts on Motor Vehicles and on Road Traffic. The Committees supported the drafts.
The Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee resumed with the draft by Guguli Magradze on Tobacco Control, considered on June 17 by the Committee without supporting.
The Chair, Zurab Tkemaladze introduced the conclusion, providing the remarks. “The Committee considers it expedient to adopt legislative regulations on reduction of tobacco usage. At that, the regulations under the drafts will affect the income part of the state budget. According to the explanatory note, first year upon enactment, the excise and profit taxes on tobacco will be reduced with 2% (appr. 10 ml GEL) and with 1% in the following years (appr. 5 ml GEL). The draft, entailing increase of budgetary expenses, reduction of incomes or new financial obligations of the state, shall be adopted with the consent of the Government solely. Thus, the Committee supports the draft in case of the positive position of the Government”.
The sitting of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee
The Committee considered with the I reading the draft by Guguli Magradze and Zviad Kvachantiradze on Philanthropy, Charity and Social Partnership and the draft on Tax Code, aiming at facilitation to philanthropy and charity, development of social partnership and definition of legal basis.
The draft on Philanthropy, Charity and Social Partnership defines the subjects of philanthropic and charity activity and the spheres of the hereof activity. The draft envisages tax remissions to stimulate hereof subjects – profit of the subjects other than from economic activity, shall be exempted from profit tax. Conveyance of the profits by the subjects to the natural persons: socially vulnerable families, disabled persons, single mothers and families with many children, orphan and gutter persons, refugee or humanitarian status persons, IDPs, affected with natural disasters, accidents, catastrophes, epidemic, war and armed conflicts, injured in the struggle for territorial integrity, families of deceased in the struggle, persons with chronic diseases shall be exempted from income tax. The draft envisages other preferences – exemption from double taxation.
As the Chair, Zurab Tkemaladze stated, it is not clearly defined in the draft. The law shall be approximated to EU legislation and the businessman shall have the impetus and opportunity to do charity. So, the draft is very important but the Committee will support it if it is in harmony with the Constitution, Tax Code and approved by the Government.
The Committee considered the Loan Agreement between Georgia and EBRD (Tbilisi Bus project). As the Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze stated, the agreement was signed on May 11, 2016, envisaging provision of Tbilisi City Hall with new, ecologically effective, compressed natural gas powered 175 buses. EBRD has allocated 27 ml EURO loan and ESP has allocated 7 ml EURO grant. Consideration was participated by the Deputy-Mayor, Irakli Lekvinadze. The Committee supported the document.
The Committee considered with the III reading the drafts on: Innovations; Grants; Tax Code; Science, Technologies and Development thereof; Energy and Natural Gas; Public Register; Food/Forage Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection Code; Entrepreneurs; Labor Migration; Public Health; Control on Entrepreneurship; Code of Administrative Offenses; Official Statistics. The Committee supported the drafts.
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