The 36. session of the Joint Committee for Economic and Financial Development of the
House of Representatives of the Parliament of FBiH was held on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The session started at 12 and finished at 1:30 pm.
The Committee had a quorum and participants included representatives of relevant ministries, law proponents and guests, including the representatives of the project Strengthening Governing Processes and Institutions in BiH (SGIP) and the Institute for Youth Development KULT. The session began at 12 and finished at 3:15 pm.
Members of the Committee discussed the following items on the agenda:
1. Proposal of the Law on Collecting and Partial Waiver of Taxes to Sports Organisations â€“ urgent procedure;
2. Proposal of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Tax Administration of FBiH â€“ urgent procedure;
3. Proposal of the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Repartition of Public Revenues;
4. Draft law on Financial Operations
5. Discussion of proposed amendments with explanations, to the Draft Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Excise Taxes;
6. Current issues.
The following items on the agenda were the focus of our interest:
Proposal of the Law on Collecting and Partial Waiver of Taxes to Sports Organisations, more precisely Article 7 of the Proposal, asking for a waiver of tax debt of all sports organisations, except the Ĺ iroki Brijeg football club which does not owe taxes. This proposal was severely criticized by members of the Committee. The law proponent, i.e. the Government of FBiH or more precisely the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports accepted the Committeeâ€™s Conclusion supporting the proposal, with the proviso that the Government adopts the amendment removing the disputed Article 7 from the Proposal which should be compensated by leveling the deadlines for sports organization to pay tax debts.
Proposed amendments by several PMâ€™s to the Proposal of the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Repartition of Public Revenues for the consideration of the Federal Ministry of Finance constituted an effort to contribute to making a more effective proposal. Proposal of the law will be considered by the Parliament after the proponent deliberates on several other amendments proposed by Committee members.
Draft law on Financial Operations confused several members of the Committee because the law addresses issues already regulated by other law such as the Law onFinancial Consolidation, Law on Domestic Trade, Law on Contracts and Torts, Law on Pre-Bankruptcy Settlements Act, etc. The draft law will nevertheless go through the parliamentary procedure.
Discussions of other items on the agenda also focused on improving the proposals and draft laws, and the comments of the Committee regarding the Draft Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Excise Taxes were directed at the Tax Administration of FBiH. Committee members are increasingly protesting the subpar quality of the laws sent to Parliament and it can be estimated that two out of three laws are returned to the Government for reasons the Government could have addressed prior to sending the law to the Parliament, with even the bare minimum of attention. The inadequacies do not concern only the lacking public debates and harmonization with other bodies, institutions and organizations, but also the low quality of the text of the law, lack of harmonization with existing regulation or illogical sections often inappropriate for the current economic and financial situation (e.g. the proposal to waive tax debt of football clubs which sell and buy players for millions and yet expect to have their taxes waived).
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