The Committee considered the draft by M. Machavariani and G. Tsereteli on Tax Code. G. Tsereteli introduced the general principles.
The draft aims at facilitation to natural persons: preferences on tax on goods received by post – increase of the 300 GEL limit to 500 GEL.
The second initiative concerns reduction of 5% income tax instead of 20% on rent of real estate. The Government does not consider changes expedient.
Opinions divided in half.
Though the draft shall be submitted to the plenary session with the I reading.
The Committee considered the draft on Socio-Economic and Cultural Development of Mountainous Regions by T. Khidasheli correcting the technical mistakes made in the law.
This mistake creates the problem on enforcement of the law. Technical mistake will be corrected in the same law by A. Bolkvadze, correcting the names of the villages in Ajara AR.
“Villages Kedlebi and Begleti are named in Khulo region. These villages do not exist but exist Kedelebi and Begeli”, - he stated. Under the ordinance of December 28, 2011 N867 by the President on Renaming the Geographic Objects, the village Kishal of Khulo municipality was renamed as Tsibliani. The Committee supported the draft.
The Committee considered with the III reading the draft on Official Statistics and the draft on Code on Administrative Offenses. The initiator considered the remarks expressed upon the II reading.
GeoStats is granted with the authority to inquire personal information from natural and legal entities. If registered NPLEs fail to submit information in due time, they shall be notified and then with 200 GEL.
The draft changes selection of GeoStats Council members, not being the public servants and appointed by PM, to be selected by open consent. The chair of the council shall be authorized to endorse personnel and salaries, as well as standards and methods for activity.
New subject shall be created – GeoStats advisory council issuing the recommendations. The draft changes the term for set up of coordination Governmental commission on population census defined as no later than 3 years instead of 3 months.
The Committee supported the draft with the reservation of the III reading assigning the GeoStats to provide the Parliament with the list of the confidential information within 2 weeks.
The parties spoke about Riga summit, EU and NATO integration of Georgia. According to Anke-Brokers Knoll, the Netherlands values relations with Georgia and the progress of Georgia in democracy development. Existence of Georgia in the region is important for Europe.
According to T. Khidasheli, taking the geo-political situation in the region, support of European friends is of utmost importance. The parties spoke about Russia-Georgia relations and challenges to Georgia and to the region, as well as Ukraine situation and ISIS.
“Current processes are the alarming signal that the Netherlands and other European countries shall realize that support of such democratic countries as Georgia is important”, - Anke-Brokers Knoll stated.
The Dutch Parliament has ratified EUAA with Georgia, for which T. Khidasheli thanked the guest. According to Anke-Brokers Knoll, this fact confirms that Holland supports Georgia to become member of European family.
According to T. Khidasheli, European experience is important for Georgia in EU integration terms. As the parties agreed, the Parliamentary Committees shall enhance relations. “We will do our best to render support to you. The Netherlands was an active supporter of Georgia and always will be”.
The meeting was attended by L. Berdzenishvili and G. Kandelaki. The visit started on April 29 and will end on May 1.
T. Japaridze thanked the guest for the visit and noted that support by the Netherlands is important for Georgia. The Netherlands, in democracy development, financial system construction with the WB, Monetary Fund and donor countries, contributed a lot. According to G. Tsereteli, the Netherlands is a partner for Georgia and one of the decision-making countries in Europe.
T. Japaridze spoke about the role of the Parliament in democratic institution building and inter-Parliamentary cooperation. Sharing Dutch experience in EU integration process is necessary for Georgia. “We build democratic country where the rule of law, justice principles will be protected. We may make mistakes but we also learn and will not deviate from this course. Development of Georgia in this direction is an irreversible process”.
One of the main priorities for Georgia is democracy capacity building, which is necessary for security and fast realization of EUAA and visa liberalization serve for this purpose. “Georgian people shall see that Europe is not indifferent to them”.
According to Anke-Brokers Knoll, Georgia has achieved significant process. EU integration of Georgia is important for the Netherlands as well as Georgia is the hub for democracy in the region.
As T. Japaridze stated, Georgia can become the bridge between the region and Europe. The parties spoke about EU integration and Russia-Georgia relations. As Georgian MPs noted, Georgian citizens, the Government and the opposition are loyal to European values.
According to Anke-Brokers Knoll, the Netherlands gives high evaluation to progress of Georgia. “My country will remain the devoted friend of Georgia”. The parties agreed on cooperation.
The Committee considered with the II reading the draft on Official Statistics, to be approximated to the European standards of Statistic System. The relevant change is to be adopted to the Code on Administrative Offenses.
According to the CEO of Statistic Service, M. Guntsadze, the service shall be granted authority to inquire personal information from the administrative bodies, legal entities and natural persons. If the person registered in non-commercial legal entity register, fails to submit the inquired information, he/she shall be notified and then fined with 200 GEL which does not exempt him/her from obligation.
The draft changes the rule of election of council members, who are not public servants and who are appointed by the PM. They shall be selected by open contest. The chair of the council shall be granted with some functions: endorsement of the quantity of personnel and salary fund, endorsement of statistic standards and methods applied for activity.
The new subject shall emerge – GeoStats advisory council, the decision of which shall be of recommendation character.
The Committee expressed remarks on confidentiality. More protection shall be provided by means of the list of confidential information the right to inquire of which shall be granted to the service.
The Committee will support the draft if remarks are shared and the list is provided to the Parliament within two weeks.
The Committee considered the draft on Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons with the II reading. The draft increases the list of the authorized bodies to issue visa, supplemented it with the MFA. The draft envisages capacity of MFA to issue e-visas and defines regulations. The visa definition shall be reformulated as the permit to the travel document. The person authorized to invite was defined as the written petitions by foreign states and other organizations. The residence permit shall be supplemented with the new category – short-term permit. Visa categories are to be change das well.
The package includes the drafts: on State Tax; Budgetary Code; Municipal Code. The Committee considered the draft resolution on changes to the Resolution of November 7, 2012 N40-Is on Permanent Delegations. The Georgia-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee shall be replaced with the Georgia-EU Parliamentary Association Committee.
The Changes is to be adopted to the resolution of March 6, 2013 on Friendship Groups, supplementing them with Georgia-Malaysia Friendship Group. The Committee supported the drafts.
The Committee considered the draft on Criminal Code of Practice with the II reading.
The draft envisages the criminal prosecution to the convict onset prior to enactment of the Code and conviction term has been terminated, the conviction term shall be defined as 9 months prior to the trial.
The Committee supported the draft with the II reading.
The Speaker made the elucidation regarding resignation of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Issues. He noted that in the event of renovation of more than one-third of the Government, the Parliament shall re-vote of confidence to the new structure. It is a democratic mechanism enacted as a result of the Constitutional changes adopted by the Parliament two years ago.
“I found out that one more Government member, the Ministry of Sports, resigned. In this event we deal with the situation when we expect renovation of more than one-third of the Government after the vote of confidence thereto last summer. Correspondingly, our Constitution and the legislation envisage some procedures. The new structure shall obtain the vote of confidence by the Parliament again. At that, the new structure, this term is of utmost importance as the Prime Minister is exclusively authorized to appoint the Ministers and after reformation of the Government, the Parliament is involved.
Under out legislation, the Prime Minister has two weeks to select candidates of the new Ministers and after that under the Constitution, the renovated structure, and renovation is recognized after the new Ministers are appointed, they are nominated by the President to the Parliament. The Parliament has a week to make the decision, so the time for the Prime Minister started. As to our terms and the term for the President, they will start when the candidates are selected by the PM. I would like to make this elucidation as we have to work on this issue. This is the Constitutional procedure. I remind you that it is as a result of the Constitutional changes.
The old edition envisaged endless opportunity for changing the Ministers without asking the Parliament. 2 years ago we adopted these changes to the Constitution to increase the role of the Parliament at due extent and to allow the PM to at his/her discretion change one-third of the Ministers, but it is logic that if more than one-third are resigned, the vote of confidence is required by the Parliament. The democratic mechanism, returned by us to the Constitution, will apply in the nearest days, which is very good”.
The Georgian Parliament’s Chairperson, David Usupashvili, will sign a Declaration on Parliamentary Openness anda Memorandum between the Parliament of Georgia and international and non-governmental organizations today 15:00, in the building of the Parliament of Georgia in Kutaisi.
By signing these documents, Georgia will become the first country in the region to subscribe to the Open Parliament principles and promote legislative openness within the frames of the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
The initiative is supported by the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Georgian non-governmental organization Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI).
The Parliament’s work towards key principles of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) – transparency, accountability, citizen participation, technology and innovation, is being led by the Open Parliament Georgia Working Group launched in February this year. The group includes 12 members of the Parliament’s Inter-Factional Group and is chaired by MP Tinatin Khidasheli, Head of the Parliament’s Committee for European Integration.
In the coming months, the Working Group will draft an Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan and present it to the Parliament for ratification.
The Declaration is a call by civil society organizations that monitor the work of parliament (parliamentary monitoring organizations or PMOs) for an increased commitment to openness and to citizen engagement in parliamentary work. The Declaration was officially launched at the World e-Parliament Conference 2012 in Rome, Italy, on the International Day of Democracy, September 15, 2012. The document is presently supported by more than 160 organizations from 82 countries.
The OGP is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective and accountable. Georgia joined the OGP in 2011 and in 2014 became the member of the OGP Steering Committee.
Supporting the legislative openness is the new trend in the OGP which promotes greater openness of the legislative process and enables citizens to engage in policymaking more effectively.