Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Sixth Sitting of the Second Regular Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007

For the Sixth Sitting of the Second Regular Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007 which started on 11 December at 1,20 a.


For the Sixth Sitting of the Second Regular Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007 which started on 11 December at 1,20 a.m. and was convened by the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mr Oliver Dulic for 10 December, that is after the conclusion of the Fifth Sitting of the Second Regular Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007, the following agenda has been set:

1. The Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008 of :
a) The Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance of Employees,
b) The National Employment Service,
c) The Republic Health Insurance Agency, submitted by the
Government,
2. The Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation, submitted by the Government,
3. The Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process, submitted by the Government,
4. The Bill on the Budgetary System, submitted by the Government,
5. The Bill amending and modifying the Income Tax Law for citizens, submitted by the Government,
6. The Bill amending and modifying the Income Tax Law for companies, submitted by the Government,
7. The Bill amending and modifying the Law on Republic Administrative Fees, submitted by the Government,
8. The Bill modifying the Law on Public Roads, submitted by the Government,
9. The Bill on the Confirmation of the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Co-operation Concerning EC-Financial Assistance to the Republic of Serbia in the Framework of the Implementation of the Assistance Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
10. The Proposal of the Decision modifying the Decision on the Election of Members of Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, submitted by member of parliament Tomislav Nikolic, president of the Serbian Radical Party Deputy Group,
11. The Proposal of the Decision modifying the Decision on the Election of Members of Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, submitted by member of parliament Nada Kolundzija, president of the Democratic Party Deputy Group,
12. The Proposal of the Decision modifying the Decision on the Election of Members of Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, submitted by member of parliament Suzana Grubjesic, president of the G 17 Plus Deputy Group.

The National Assembly accepted the proposal to conduct a joint discussion in principle on the bills on the Budgetary System, amending and modifying the Income Tax Law for citizens, amending and modifying the Income Tax Law for companies, amending and modifying the Law on Republic Administrative Fees, modifying the Law on Public Roads and a joint discussion on The Bill on the Confirmation of the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Co-operation Concerning EC-Financial Assistance to the Republic of Serbia in the Framework of the Implementation of the Assistance Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)

The National Assembly accepted the proposal to conduct a joint discussion in principle on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation and the Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process.

On the first day, 11 December, the National Assembly commenced a discussion in principle on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008.

The National Assembly accepted the proposal to double the time for the discussion in principle and have it be 10 hours.

On the second day of the session, 12 December, the National Assembly continued the discussion in principle on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008.

Elaborating the 2008 Budget Proposal, Minister of Finance, Mirko Cvetkovic stated that the proposed budget reduces the share of state and public expenditure in the gross domestic product. He presented its basic elements, as well as the economic and fiscal policy of the 2008 budget. He pointed out that, like in previous years, the continuation of positive tendencies in Serbian economy is expected in the next one. The budget was drafted based on the estimations of a 6% growth of the gross domestic product and inflation in 2008, as well as the completion of the privatisation of public property, commencement of the privatisation of infrastructural enterprises, and enablement of more favourable investment conditions.

Minister Cvetkovic also reviewed the results of the Republic of Serbia 2007 fiscal policy and budget execution in the first 11 months of this year and revealed the basic elements of macroeconomic and fiscal policy planned for 2008. He particularly stressed the need to further reduce public expenditure and pointed out that the limitation of salary rise to the level of expected inflation will be the key measure of reduction of public expenditure in 2008.

Cvetkovic stated that planned budgetary income for next year is 640 billion dinars, which is 9.9% more than in 2007, while the projected expenditure is 654.4 billion dinars, and the budgetary deficit 14.8 billion dinars. Considering that the budgetary expenditure and budgetary deficit grow slower than the gross domestic product, the Minister of Finance concluded that the budget proposal for 2008 is not expansive.

For the remainder of the second day, the National Assembly conducted a discussion in principle on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008.

On the third day of the session, 13 December, the National Assembly conducted a discussion in principle on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008.

The National Assembly went on to commence a joint discussion in principle on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation and the Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process.

At the beginning of the discussion, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Oliver Dulic, addressed the members of parliament on the subject of calling the presidential election. He stated that he brought the decision on the calling of presidential election in accordance with the Constitution and the Constitutional Law and that anyone disputing it should address the Constitutional Court. He urged the members of parliament to a proper dialogue on the items on the agenda so as to unburden the further proceedings of the Parliament and expressed hope that, by working constructively, the Assembly will pass the bills necessary for the calling of a local election by the end of the year.

The Vice-President of the Government, Bozidar Djelic, elaborated both bills on the behalf of the Government. He stated that nine key modifications have been proposed to the Law on Privatisation, above all the process of privatisation of public enterprises is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, and the conditions for participation in the privatisation have been made more rigorous. The modifications simplify the procedure of preparation of enterprises for the process and the protection of employees after privatisation has been improved.

Elaborating the Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process, the Vice-President of the Government stated that about four million citizens can count on free shares of six public enterprises and that all adult citizens will receive shares completely free of charge. Passing the Bill will enable an inflow of investment into Serbia in the upcoming years in the amount of three to five billion a year, and, according to Djelic, the Bill will also have a positive influence on the process of development of the capital market.

For the remainder of the third day, the National Assembly conducted a discussion in principle on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation and the Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process .

On the fourth day, 14 December, the National Assembly completed the joint discussion in principle on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation and the Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process. At the end of the discussion, the Vice-President of the Government, Bozidar Djelic, said that the adoption of these bills rounds up the legal regulative on privatisation. He announced that Bills on Denationalisation and Restitution are being drafted, expressing his belief that the privatisation process of the public sector and the restructuring of the financial sector in Serbia will be completely rounded up by the end of 2010.

The National Assembly went on to commence a joint discussion in principle on the Bill on the Budgetary System, the Bills amending and modifying the Income Tax Law for citizens, the Income Tax Law for companies and the Law on Republic Administrative Fees, as well as the Bill modifying the Law on Public Roads, and a unified discussion on the Bill on the Confirmation of the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Co-operation Concerning EC-Financial Assistance to the Republic of Serbia in the Framework of the Implementation of the Assistance Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

Elaborating the Bill on the Budgetary System, the Minister of Finance, Mirko Cvetkovic, said that it also includes the provisions of the previous law on public income and expenditure. In addition, the new law introduces the obligation to have all companies founded by the state included into the treasury system, which will gradually enable the introduction of three-year budget planning. He also elaborated the set of tax bills.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Velimir Ilic, pointed out that the modifications of the Law on Public Roads, among other, predicts that the road maintenance fees from the excise of oil and gas derivatives in 2008 be 15%, and 20% from 1 January 2009. This would solve the problem of lack of funds for financing the work on maintenance of magisterial and regional roads in Serbia conducted by Public Enterprise “Serbian Roads”.

At the end of the extended work day the National Assembly concluded the joint discussion in principle of these bills.

On the fifth day of the session, 17 December, the National Assembly conducted a unified discussion on the remaining three items on the agenda, viz. the Proposals of the Decisions modifying the Decision on the Election of Members of Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, submitted by the presidents the Serbian Radical Party, the Democratic Party and G 17 Plus Deputy Groups, members of parliament Tomislav Nikolic, Nada Kolundzija and Suzana Grubjesic respectively.

The National Assembly went on to commence a discussion in detail on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008 of the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance of Employees, National Employment Service and the Republic Health Insurance Agency.

On the sixth day, 18 December, the National Assembly conducted a discussion in detail on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008 of the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance of Employees, National Employment Service and the Republic Health Insurance Agency.

On the seventh day of the session, 19 December, the National Assembly continued the discussion in detail on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008 of the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance of Employees, National Employment Service and the Republic Health Insurance Agency.


On the eighth day of the session, 20 December, the National Assembly concluded the discussion in detail on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008 of the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance of Employees, National Employment Service and the Republic Health Insurance Agency.

Subsequently, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Oliver Dulic, designated Friday, 21 December as Voting Day on the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying decisions, starting at 12 p.m.

The National Assembly went on to commence a discussion in detail of the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation.

On the ninth day of the session, the National Assembly conducted a discussion in detail on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation.

On the tenth day of the session, the National Assembly concluded the discussion in detail on the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation.

Voting Day

On the twelfth day of the session, 26 December, the National Assembly concluded the discussion in detail on the Bill modifying the Law on Public Roads.

Since the National Assembly had conducted the discussions in principle and detail on all the items on the agenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Oliver Dulic, set the Voting Day for the continuation of the sitting, starting at 11 a.m.

On the Voting Day the National Assembly adopted the Bill on the Budget of the Republic of Serbia for 2008, with its accompanying proposals of decisions granting consent to financial plans for 2008 of the Republic Fund for Pension and Disability Insurance of Employees, the National Employment Service and the Republic Health Insurance Agency in its entirety. The National Assembly adopted the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Privatisation, the Bill on the right to free shares and financial compensation realised by the citizens in the privatisation process, the Bill modifying the Law on Public Roads, as well as the Bill on the Confirmation of the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Commission of the European Communities on the Rules for Co-operation Concerning EC-Financial Assistance to the Republic of Serbia in the Framework of the Implementation of the Assistance Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) in their entirety.

The National Assembly also adopted the Proposals of the Decisions modifying the Decision on the Election of Members of Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, submitted by members of parliament Tomislav Nikolic, Nada Kolundzija and Suzana Grubjesic, the presidents the Serbian Radical Party, the Democratic Party and G 17 Plus Deputy Groups respectively.

Since the National Assembly had conducted discussions on all the items on the agenda and decided upon them, the Speaker, Oliver Dulic, concluded the Sixth Sitting of the Second Regular Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2007.



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