The members of the Human Rights and Civil integration Committee and the Minister of Corrections visited the Penitentiary Department N5 for Women to introduce the legislative initiatives on the reform of penitential system to the convicts. The Chair of the Committee, Sofo Kiladze and the Minister, Kakha Kakhishvili informed the convicts about the penitential system reform and about the novelties envisaged under new regulations – set up of the brand new Agency on Preparation of Convicts for Release and establishment of house arrest as non-custody penalty.
The changes envisage the convict mothers of particular category to be allowed leaving the penitentiary department and the convicts in the particular risk department to be allowed enjoying long-term rendezvous. The convicts expressed particular interest regarding the changes concerning establishment of the e-bracelet and mitigation of penalty.
MPs Anri Okhanashvili and Vano Zardiashvili answered the questions and made elucidations on certain Articles. After introduction of the changes to the Imprisonment Code, the convicts held the individual conversations with MPs.
The Bureau considered the agenda for April 19-21 plenary sessions and assigned the leading and mandatory Committees for new initiatives.
The agenda includes 15 issues: for I reading the drafts on: Higher Education; Red Cross Society; Rules of Procedure; for the II reading the drafts on: State Property; Machakhela National Park; Regulation Fees. MPs will hear the report by the Personal Data Protection Inspector on activity for 2016.
The Bureau discussed agenda issues. According to the Chairman, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze, MPs will continue consideration of the draft on covert investigation activities with the II reading, as well as the alternative drafts by the Minority.
The Deputy Chairman, Sergi Kapanadze asked to postpone consideration as there are remarks expressed and consultations shall continue. It will facilitate adoption of the drafts in the constructive regime and within the established term. “I held the consultations with the Chair and Deputies of the Legal Issues Committee the position of which that we shared was to continue consideration of the drafts deriving from the terms. We are short of time as we shall adopt the draft with all 3 hearings for the end of March. We shall also consider the post-adoption procedures and hence, we considered it expedient to continue consideration with the II reading”, - the Chairman noted.
The agenda also includes all the issues scheduled for consideration.
The Bureau defined the new legislative initiatives and the mandatory and leading Committees, as well as considered the organizational issues and took note of some of them.
According to the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee Zaza Khutsishvili, 3 drafts were submitted to the Committee concerning wood cut and ecology in the Capital. The Committee set up the working group. MPs resumed discussions at the plenary session.
The draft on LEPL Operative-Technical Agency of Georgia was supported by 89 MPs against 20. The changes to the law on Trust Group envisage the LEPL to annually submit the statistic data and report on activity to the Trust Group.
According to Eka Beselia, the Parliament shall oversee the LEPL activity. This form of control is very important. The Trust Group will be entitled to make the decision on inspection of activity of the Agency: “the principle is that we establish the oversight function, Parliamentary control is important and this right is delegated to the Trust Group”.
According to Minority MP, Khatuna Gogorishvili, the change shall as well be reflected to the Rules of Procedure. “I hail Parliamentary oversight in this form and that information shall necessarily be obtained and it shall be accessible for TG members. Though, better to outline the procedure about selection of a responsible person”.
According to Zurab Chiaberashvili, the reports by the Agency shall be detailed. The change to the law on Normative Acts envisage the normative act of the Head of the Agency subordinated to the Government can be issued with the legislative act and in cases and scopes defined under the Governmental resolution.
Minority MPs consider that the draft delegates to the Government that the State Security Service shall issue the normative act within the Governmental resolutions and it is unacceptable. According to Irakli Abesadze, if there is the argument in case of other agencies that only under the law their competence shall be restricted and they shall be entitled to issue the normative acts under the resolutions, the SSS shall remain as an exception entitled to issue the normative act within the law solely.
According to the draft on Control of Entrepreneurial Activity, the list of activities not considered as control of entrepreneurial activity, shall be supplemented with the informative technology audit by the Agency in view of provision of safety of telecommunication systems. The opposition considers that it increases telecommunication costs of the operators.
According to E. Beselia, she will meet the representatives of telecommunication companies. “In view to prevent emergence of new financial liabilities to them due to establishment of new regulations, we provided in the draft the semi-stationary technical means. It allows the state and the Agency ensuring technical means for them. The current edition provides that installment of the apparatus and devices shall be delivered for free which the SSS current division needs to implement covert investigation activities assigned by the Judge”.
The draft on License and Permission Fees defines the license fee with 200 GEL for development of communication monitoring systems, import and export licensing. The change to the Rules of Procedure envisages the Head of SSS or the Deputy to submit annually to the Parliament the report. According to Kh. Gogorishvili, the article on submission of the report by the agency to the TG shall be separately added to the Rules of Procedure. To prevent emergence of problems upon reporting, the concrete date – April 1 - of reporting shall be annulled and the general record shall be made – “during the spring session”.
According to E. Beselia, formulation of the article can be ensured during the II reading and as to the date, it can be altered. MPs considered the draft resolution on Expediency of Set up of the Interim Commission on Financial Audit of State Audit Service for 2016. The Bureau will be held tomorrow at 10h30 followed with the plenary session at 11h00.
H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met with the visiting British Members of Parliament (MPs) from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Georgia.
Parties discussed key topics of strategic relationship between the two countries and prospects of extended cooperation in future. Focus has been made on the significance of the general elections of Georgia held in an open, competitive and fair environment. Hopes have been expressed towards intensification of relations and interaction between the Parliaments of UK and Georgia.
According to the Prime Minister, UK is a great friend of Georgia with a sound track record of strategic cooperation in the following areas: military, economic, trade, arts and culture, etc. This bondage is of utmost importance. Head of the Government of Georgia (GOG) shared the Reform Agenda of the Government and investment opportunities of the country with the visiting delegation. It was noted at the meeting that Georgia is an attractive country for doing business, which is duly evidenced by the successful operation of British companies in the country.
British MPs reassured the Prime Minister of Georgia in the solid support of Britain towards the implementation of democratic reforms in Georgia.
Current developments in the region and occupied territories of Georgia were discussed at the meeting. Reference was made also to topics of international security and great contribution of the Georgian military in the international peacekeeping missions was commended.
Prime Minister of Georgia expressed his gratitude to the Delegation of the British Parliament for the present visit to Georgia, which is a clear evidence of UK-Georgia partnership and close cooperation.
fter endorsement of the agenda, the floor was given to MPs. Critical statements by Minority MPs were concerning Rustavi2 proceedings, economic situation, economic program of the Government, legislative initiatives of the PM announced yesterday and the changes to the law on occupation. Majority MPs responded to the criticism. Levan Koberidze in response to Rustavi2 statement, state – “Rustavi2 issue is the subject of private property right and each of us, the whole team would like to accomplish the case to prevent remaining questions. Our primary task is to define the foreign and domestic course of the country and we are all equally responsible for the results we will encounter”.
The Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Irakli Kovzanadze echoed the new legislative initiatives of the Government. The Government made an important decision on dollarization to have the positive impact on macro-economic stability. “I would like to assure my colleagues that the measures announced by the PM are to be hailed and serve as a good example of cooperation”.
The Chair of the Health Care and Social Issues Committee, Akaki Zoidze introduced the increasing statistic of tobacco usage and initiated prohibition of smoking in Tbilisi and Kutaisi Parliaments. Manana Kobakhidze in response to accusations by Minority, reminded the estimations by the PACE Committee. “The Committee stated that Georgia is a model of European choice in the region. These conclusions were made deriving from the estimations by CoE Observation Mission, the last report of which was introduced at the sitting”.
After the statements, MPs resumed with agenda.
Four draft resolutions were introduced by the Chair of Procedural Issues and Rules Committee, Giorgi Kakhiani – termination of authority ahead of time for MPs: Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Kakha Kaladze, Giorgi Gakharia and Sandra Roelofs. The authority of Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Kakha Kaladze, Giorgi Gakharia is terminated due to their appointment on the Governmental positions and authority of Sandra Roelofs is terminated on the basis of the personal statement.
MPs also considered sundry documents for ratification: Loan Agreement between Georgia and ADB (ordinary transactions)(internal resource mobilization improvement for inclusive growth program – sub-program 3).
According to the reporter, the Deputy-Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze, ADB, in view of state and private investment development, will allocate 100 ml USD for Georgia. The Loan Agreement between Georgia and IBRD of September 3, 2014 (E-transmission line enhancement project), Change N1 was introduced by G. Kakauridze. IBRD financially supports E-transmission line enhancement project with allocation of 60 ml USD loan. Loan duration is 25 years, 10 years amongst which are preferential and the interest rate is variable based on LIBOR. The single administration commission fee of the loan constitutes 0.25%.
The Parliamentary Secretary of the Government, Shalva Tadumadze introduced the Agreement between Georgia and EU on Exchange and Protection Security Procedures of Classified Information. The Agreement is a frame document and Georgia has signed similar documents with 17 countries, including EU and NATO member states. Ratification will facilitate to effective cooperation between EU and Georgia.
MPs considered two draft resolutions on expediency and inexpediency of further consideration of the drafts initiated by the preceding Parliament, introduced by the Chair of Legal Issues Committee, Eka Beselia. 32 drafts were considered expedient to be considered and 9 drafts – inexpedient.
The Chairman, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze stated that in line with the Decree of the President of Georgia, the plenary session will be convened on Saturday, November 26 at 12h00. The agenda includes consideration of the Governmental Program “Freedom, Rapid Development, Welfare, Governmental Program for 2016-2020” and vote of confidence to the Government.
The Bureau discussed the initiatives by the Committees on continuation of consideration of the drafts initiated in the 8th Term. MPs heard the report by the Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Mr. Irakli Sesiashvili on participation of the Parliamentary Delegation to NATO PA session and the preparatory works for upcoming NATO PA session scheduled in Georgia.
The Bureau considered the organizational issues, including the decisions of the Board of Treasurers related to functioning of the new Parliament. The next Bureau will be held on Friday at 21h00 in Kutaisi.
The first hour of the session was dedicated to MPs for statements.After the statements hour, MPs resumed with agenda issues.
MPs considered with the III reading the drafts on: Lobbyist Activity; Criminal Code of Practice; Code on Imprisonment; Non-Custody Penalty Enforcement Rule and Probation; Personal Data Protection; with the II reading on: State Compensation and State Academic Scholarship; Broadcasting; E-Communications.
MPs considered the draft resolution on Loan Agreement between Georgia and Japan International Cooperation Agency on East-West Highway Improvement Project II and the Note Exchange Agreement between Georgia and Japan.
MPs considered with the I reading the draft on Grants, envisaging addition of the transitional provision considering assets issued for the entrepreneurial purpose as no grant other than the assets issued to the entrepreneurial subjects within the micro and petty entrepreneurship under the Governmental program “Produce in Georgia”, to be exempted from income tax.
MPs considered with the II reading the draft on Tax Code introduced by the Deputy-Finance Minister, Lasha Khutsishvili. The draft redefines profit taxation regime for resident and non-resident enterprises. The distributed profit for resident enterprise is elucidated as profit distributed in cash or non-cash dividend. The draft envisages tax control to be implemented by the Tax Agency solely. The draft also envisages write-off of some tax liabilities.
The Deputy-Justice Minister, Alexander Baramidze introduced with the II reading the draft on Elimination of Domestic Violence and Protection and Aid for the Victims. The draft envisages separation of a child from parents on the basis of the decision of social servant. Non-observance to the decision will entail legal responsibility.
UNM MP, Mikheil Machavariani introduced the draft on Tax Code with the I reading. The draft is more adequate to the current situation than the similar draft by the Government. The document envisages abolishment of profit tax and reduction of income tax from 20 to 17,5%, and reduction of VAT to 17%. As Majority stated, the idea of both drafts is to give tax remissions for the population but the draft by the opposition contradicts with the international agreements.
Free Democrats introduced with the I reading the draft on Tax Code, exempting the profit as a result of pardon of loan liability to the natural person from income tax. The financial institutions shall deduce the value of loan liabilities from the joint income.
MPs considered with the I reading the draft on Educational Activity by the Health Care and Social Issues Committee. The Deputy-Chair, Mirian Tsiklauri stated that the state shall take care of children and various Governments have done a lot in this direction. The main task is to maintain the child in his/her biological family but if it’s impossible, the state assumes care. The draft applies to the person implementing educational activity regardless of the organizational-legal form other than foster care, medical institution, boarding-school and services where child stays no more than 3 years. The draft defines the educational institutions to be considered licensed if obtained license under the current law on Licensing of Educational Activity. The draft is attached with the legislative changes. According to the law on Intelligence Service, quantity of employees of IS shall be defined by the PM.
The initiative by Human Rights and Civil Itegration Committee on Legal Aid was considered with the I reading. The draft envisages provision of representation of insolvent persons in Administrative Body other than the Court on civil and administrative cases.
MPs supported the drafts except the draft by UNM on Tax Code. MPs also voted for more than 50 drafts considered at the preceding session.
The plenary session was canceled. The Deputies should listen to the State Security Service Head Vakhtang Gomelauri. At least 76 MPs should attend the session for the implementation the process, but the enough number of MPs hasn’t been registered for the hearing.
The Deputies passed the register three times, but only 54 lawmakers have been registered at last.