THE BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE DISCUSSED WITH THE II READING THE DRAFT CUSTOMS CODE AND THE DRAFT TAX CODEThursday, 16 December 2021 18:16
The Committee discussed the Draft Customs Code and the Draft Tax Code with the II reading and accelerated manner.
As the Deputy Finance Minister, Mamuka Baratashvili stated, the Bill extends the validity of certain norms to 2023.
The technical and editorial changes are to be introduced to the Tax Code. The Committee approved the Drafts.
Parliament of Georgia
The NATO Military Committee and its Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will be in Tbilisi, Georgia on 27 and 28 March 2019.
As a show of support to its long-time partner, the NATO Military Committee will hold a meeting in the NATO-Georgia format chaired by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Peach and the Georgian Minister of Defence, Mr Levan Izoria. The opening remarks will be open to the media. The NATO Military Committee will receive an overview of the regional security situation, including the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the Black Sea. The NATO Military Representatives will then be briefed on the ongoing implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, the ongoing Georgian Reforms as well as the continuing Georgian contributions to NATO operations and exercises.
On the 28th of March, the NATO Military Committee will head to the Vaziani Military Base to receive a briefing from the Combat Training Centre and visit the Georgia Defence Readiness Programme, a bilateral programme designed, by the US, to improve Georgian troops’ combat readiness and develop a self-sustaining institutional capacity to man, train and equip their national missions.
The NATO Military Committee will then proceed to the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre to observe the “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019”. This joint multinational brigade-level, Command Post exercise aims to further develop the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities.
Meeting with Co-chairman of Japanese–Turkmen Committee for economic cooperation Yoichi Kobayashi is held in the Foreign MinistryThursday, 24 January 2019 11:19
Meeting with Japanese delegation chaired by Co-chairman of Japanese – Turkmen Committee for economic cooperation Yoichi Kobayashi was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 21.
During the meeting, the sides noted high level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan especially in economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. Subjects of joint projects for supply of Komatsu agricultural equipment as well as joint investments with the participation of Japanese Bank of International Cooperation have been reviewed. Relative Protocol has been signed by the outcomes of the talks.
It is worth mentioning that representative delegation of Turkmenistan has visited Japan in October 2018, during which the expansion of bilateral cooperation in trade and economic sphere has been discussed.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a periodic visit to Georgia from 10 to 21 September 2018.
During the visit, the delegation assessed progress made in the implementation of the recommendations made by the CPT following the previous visit in 2014. In this context, the delegation paid particular attention to the treatment of persons in police custody and the situation of prisoners in penitentiary establishments, in particular those in high-risk and semi-open prisons, as well as juvenile inmates. In addition, the delegation carried out visits to several psychiatric hospitals and, for the first time in Georgia, to an immigration detention facility.
In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice, Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Internal Affairs, David Sergeenko, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, and with several other senior officials from the aforementioned Ministries. In addition, the delegation had meetings with Nino Lomjaria, the Public Defender (Ombudsperson) and staff of the National Preventive Mechanism Department of her Office, as well as with representatives of international and non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.
The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
- Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT (Head of delegation)
- Marzena Ksel, 1st Vice-President of the CPT
- Gergely Fliegauf
- Alexander Minchev
- Ceyhun Qaracayev
- Vytautas Raskauskas.
They were supported by Borys Wόdz (Head of Division) and Natacha De Roeck of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by an expert, Clive Meux, forensic psychiatrist, Oxford, United Kingdom.
The delegation visited the following places:
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Temporary Detention Isolator (TDI) in Batumi
- TDI in Dusheti
- TDI in Khashuri
- TDI in Kobuleti
- TDI in Mtskheta
- TDI in Rustavi
- TDI in Samtredia
- TDI in Tbilisi
- Old Tbilisi Police Department Division No. 7
- Temporary Accommodation Centre of the Migration Department, Tbilisi
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice
- Pre-trial and High-Risk Penitentiary Establishment No. 3 (Prison No. 3), Batumi
- Pre-trial and High-Risk Penitentiary Establishment No. 6 (Prison No. 6), Rustavi
- Pre-trial and High-Risk Penitentiary Establishment No. 7 (Prison No. 7), Tbilisi
- Pre-trial and Closed-Type Penitentiary Establishment No. 8 (Prison No. 8), Tbilisi (Gldani)
- Pre-Trial and Closed-Type Penitentiary Establishment No. 9 (Prison No. 9), Tbilisi
- Rehabilitation Establishment for Juveniles No. 11 (Juvenile Prison), Tbilisi (Avchala)
- Semi-Open and Closed-Type Penitentiary Establishment No. 15 (Prison No. 15), Ksani
- Medical Establishment for Pre-trial and Sentenced Inmates No. 18 (Prison Hospital), Tbilisi (Gldani)
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs
- Batumi Health Care Centre (Khevalchauri Psychiatric Hospital)
- National Centre of Mental Health named after Academician Bidzina Naneishvili (Kutiri Psychiatric Hospital)
- East Georgia Mental Health Centre (Surami Psychiatric Hospital)
The Committee considered with the II reading the drafts on Entrepreneurs; and Securities Market, introduced by the Deputy-Economic Minister, Irma Kavtaradze. The draft aims at re-regulation of the norms of the preferred purchase right of the shareholders in the law on Entrepreneurs and conferring the preferred purchase right to the rest of the partners upon sale of the share by the partner in limited companies.
The draft also envisages compliance of the rule of composition of the Audit Committee with international standards and improvement/specification of certain issues in the law. The remarks and comments expressed at the I reading are shared. The draft defines the Audit Committee as the sub-committee of the Board of Trustees of the Public Interest Person to be composed with the members of Board of Trustees solely. At that, at least one member shall be an independent person to be elected as the Chair of the Committee. The draft regulates the preferred purchase right of the share by the partner. The transitional provisions provide that the hereof regulation shall apply to the limited companies registered after enactment of the change.
The Audit Committee shall be chaired by the independent person as stipulated under the law on Entrepreneurs. The changes envisage the right on information about salaries and other incomes of the accountable Directors or members of Board of Directors and members of Board of Trustees conferred to any shareholder of the enterprise admitted to the stock exchange for trade.
The draft envisages obligation of inspection of such deals by the external auditor or certified accountant with participation of the persons concerned and the value of which constitutes 10% or over of the assets of the accountable enterprise or a smaller amount under the Articles thereof. I. Kavtaradze made elucidations and answered the questions. The Committee supported the drafts.
The Committee considered with the II reading the draft on Imprisonment Code, introduced by the Head of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Corrections, Alexander Darakhvelidze. The draft envisages higher education for low risk convicts in the prisons and convicts in Juvenile Detention Departments will be allowed having higher education on the first stage (Bachelor’s degree).
The next change concerns temporary leave of the convict. According to the current edition, the fee shall be paid by the relative of the convict. The draft envisages exemption of the family with low income from payment of the fee. He noted that definition of break is reformulated. Namely, crossing the protective fence shall be considered as prison break and in case of convoying the convict – crossing of the established line. Another change concerns the right of phone call for the high risk convicts. Currently, convicts are allowed making 10-minute phone call per month. “We offer two phone calls for convicts not exceeding 15 minutes each and in case of encouragement, they can be granted additional phone call of 15 minutes”.
The draft envisages additional mechanisms for re-socialization/rehabilitation of the convicts, ability of higher education for them and set up of the penitential department for preparation of convicts for release, as well as improvement of release ahead of time, elimination of illegal actions on the department territory and provision of due functioning of the penitential department. The Committee supported the draft.
The Committee considered with the III reading the draft on Elimination of Domestic Violence and Protection and Aid for the Victims developed in view of compliance of Georgian legislation with the CoE Convention on Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The changes regulate not only elimination of domestic violence or protection of the victims but they shall apply to violence against women taking place in their public or personal life. Hence, the law shall be retitled.
Violation against women shall be defined as all the action of violence committed on gender basis resulting in physical, sexual, mental or economic damage or torture, including menace of violence, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of freedom in public or personal life of women. Respective changes shall be adopted to the Articles defining protection of victim of domestic violence, prevention of violence etc. The change concerns issue of retaining order to be issued without Court decision. The Committee supported the draft.
The Committee considered with the III reading the draft on Insolvency Proceedings, extending the list of the creditors entitled to demand opening of insolvency proceeding. The new Article envisages all the creditors demands of which are recognized by the Court to be entitled to inquire information about proceedings from the guardian towards the debtor and related documentation. The draft empowers the debtor to apply for not only bankruptcy but for rehabilitation as well. In the latter case, the application shall be enclosed with the rehabilitation project. The changes envisage the damage to the creditors to be considered as actions committed during 1 year before appealing to the Court on insolvency instead of 6 months and if the preferred creditor or counteragent (person or agency, assuming obligations) is the relative of the debtor, the term constitutes 2 years instead of 1 year. The Committee supported the draft.
The Committee supported the draft on Code of Administrative Offenses aiming at establishment of administrative-legal responsibility to the natural or legal person acoustic noise of which exceeds established norm. The draft is developed by the working group headed by Levan Gogichaishivli.
The draft Resolution on Condemnation of Actions by Russian Federation to Annexation of Occupied Territories of Georgia was introduced by the Faction “European Georgia” MP, Giorgi Kandelaki. The draft is the initiative of Minority Factions: European Georgia; Movement for Freedom – European Georgia, and Movement for Freedom – Regions. The draft condemns actions made by Russian Federation directed to occupation of Georgian territory and annexation of occupied regions. The draft calls on the international community to further ensure protection of territorial integrity of Georgia and internationally recognized borders of the country and further support NATO integration of Georgia and calls on Georgian Government to condemn actions made by Russian Federation through enactment of various legal, political, humanitarian and other leverages in international organizations.
MPs expressed uniform position that the Parliament shall express its position regarding the ongoing processes on occupied territories, though the Committee did not support the draft in current edition due to the record made in regards with the Government. The text fails to properly reflect reality the Committee stated, and is not result-oriented. The context thereof is not based on objective information.
“The Parliament will adopt the uniform political document – Resolution to condemn actions made by Russia. The hereof draft cannot be principally shared as it fails to recognize the activity made by the Government. It does not correspond to reality and hence, the Committee does not support it. Much is done as by the executive so by the legislative authority to actively and unilaterally express the position supporting sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia on the highest level by partners. Georgian diplomacy actively strives to maintain Georgia issue into the international agenda”, - the Chair stated.
The Committee will develop the alternative version clearly providing the positions of the Parliament in regards with aggressive actions of Russian Federation aiming at annexation.
The Committee considered the Protocol on Accession of Georgia to the Constituent Agreement of Energy Union signed on October 14, 2016, introduced by the Deputy-Energy Minister, Mariam Valishvili.
According to her, the Energy Union aims at creation of the investment milieu in view of uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity for infrastructure in various countries; arrangement of uniform regulatory area in energy network; increase of safety of supply through increased investments and developed cooperation mechanisms; improvement of environment and facilitation to energy efficiency measures and application of renewable energy.
The frame agreement concludes 25 legislative directives and regulations on gas, electricity, supply safety, renewable energy, oil, energy efficiency etc. Georgia, on the one hand between EU and European Nuclear Energy Unions and Member states and on the other hand under EUAA, has assumed harmonization of legislation on energy with EU standards.
The Agreement allows Georgia becoming the member of European Energy Union. In mid-term perspective, the Energy Union aims at creation of regional integrated energy base allowing trans-border trading and providing energy supply taking climate change and social aspects into account. Accession to Energy Union and application of respective legislative frame will accelerate:
- Formation of modern and competitive energy sector;
- Financial sustainability and increased rights of consumers;
- Harmonization of legislation with EU Environmental Law;
- Inflow of investments in energy sector.
Membership of Georgia in Energy Union will facilitate to implementation of EUAA obligations and establishment of European energy legislation will facilitate to creation of regulated and stable investment milieu, improvement of sector structure, increase of professional and institutional capacities and long-term development prospects.
The Committee supported the draft.
The Parliament started development of drug policy liberalization. Committee considered the draft on Narcotic Means, Psychotropic Agents, Pre-cursors and Addiction Aid. The draft is entailed with the Decision of the Constitutional Court of October 24, 2015 N1/4/592 and the Judgment of February 15, 2017 N3/1/855.
As the acting Justice Minister, Alexander Baramidze stated, compliance of the public threat and respective penalty deriving from the committed actions have been considered upon development. “Despite that Marihuana has hazardous impact on health, preparation, storage, acquisition or transportation in small amount for personal use without threat of distribution and sale, is not hazardous for other persons and public order and hence, no criminal responsibility shall be imposed”.
The changes envisage preparation, purchase, storage and transportation of cannabis and marihuana in small amount for personal use will not entail detention. “Preparation of drugs, similar agents or pre-cursors in small amount, as well as illegal purchase, storage or use will be subject to administrative responsibility and in case of repetition – to criminal responsibility”.
15-day administrative detention shall as well be annulled. Administrative penalty shall envisage fine of 300 GEL or corrective labor of 1-6 months. The draft envisages change of definition of small and large amount of drugs – in case plant cannabis, large amount is defined with 140 gr instead of 50; particularly large amount – 1000 gr instead of 250; marihuana – dried form – large amount – 70 gr instead of 50, raw form – 140 gr instead of 100.
As noted, speaking about state policy and legislation on drugs, we shall tell 3 various terms apart: 1. Liberalization of law; 2. Decriminalization; 3. Legalization. All these terms have various meanings. Liberalization is when you alleviate the penalty but maintain responsibility. This is what draft offers instead of decriminalization or legalization”. The Committee supported the draft.
The Committee considered the Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Preventive Origin Rules, introduced by the Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Tabuashvili. Enactment of DCFTA allowed Georgia accessing to the Regional Convention, envisaging definition of the country of origin of goods according to the diagonal cumulation. Georgia is allowed enjoying diagonal cumulation with Turkey. After simplified processing, Georgian exporters have the opportunity to enjoy the preferential usage of introduction of production to EU market.
In view of usage of diagonal cumulation with Turkey, Georgia needs free trade regime between Georgia, EU and Turkey with identical origin rules in each party. Enactment of diagonal cumulation between Georgia, EU and Turkey grants additional possibility to Georgia to increase local manufacture through Turkish raw material, to attract export-oriented foreign investments and improve export index with EU.
“Currently, 23 countries have accessed the Convention. Georgia will have the opportunity to produce with Turkish and Moldovan raw material and export to EU and enjoy same preferences as granted to Georgia by EU”, - G. Tabuashvili stated.
“It is the continuation of the processes we have recently launched. We have already reflected the respective changes to the Protocol II to the Free Trade Agreement with Turkey. Accession to Convention will allow us using diagonal cumulation with EU and Turkey and use Turkish raw material for local production to be exported to EU markets as originated in Georgia”, - the Chair, Tamar Khulordava stated. The Committee supported the draft.
The Member of the Faction “Georgian Dream” Dimitri Tskitishvili on behalf of the Majority held the meeting with PACE Monitoring Committee Rapporteurs, Boriss CILEVIČS and Kerstin Lundgren.
The parties touched upon ongoing political processes in Georgia, including the Constitutional changes, judicial reform etc. The guests asked about openness and involvement of the opposition and civil society in these processes and openness of the Majority for cooperation. The parties resumed the primary issues of the visit.