Law On Privatization of State Property approved in first reading
The Ukrainian Parliament has adopted the Law On Privatization of State Property (updated version) in the first reading. The Cabinet of Ministers Draft Law No. 7066 was supported by 258 MPs.
The explanatory note to the Draft states that taking into account the fact that more than 90% of state assets were put into operation 50-150 years ago, delays in privatization of these facilities lead to their further destruction, reduction in their investment attractiveness. Among the characteristic features of the Draft, the acting head of the State Property Fund, Vitalii Trubarov, singled out abolition of five possible sales options that leaves just one option, that of auctions. Furthermore, the provision on redemption will be applied only for already leased enterprises, as is stipulated in contracts but, according to him, there will be only a handful of such cases.
Draft of Election Code adopted at first reading stage
At a sitting of Parliament, MPs supported in the first reading Draft Law No.3112-1 On the Election Code of Ukraine.
Development of a unified codified legislative instrument, the Election Code of Ukraine requires systematic analysis of regulatory standards contained in five current laws of Ukraine, On Elections of the President of Ukraine, On Elections of People’s Deputies of Ukraine, On Local Elections, On the Central Election Commission, and On the State Register of Voters. The purpose of such analysis is to determine the standards that are common or similar to all elections and which, therefore, may be subject to regulation by the general part of the Code, as well as provisions that are characteristic of a specific type of election and should be placed in relevant sections of the special part of the Code. It is proposed that the Code consist of three volumes: Book I — General Part; Book II — National Elections; Book III — Local Elections.
Procedure changed for enforced collection and maximum amount of fines
Members of Parliament intend to eliminate ambivalence in regulation of certain types of concerted actions (so-called vertical concerted actions), taking into consideration the powers of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine to determine typical requirements for concerted actions, and with the intention of bringing the Law into line with the EU acquis communautaire. On 9 November corresponding Draft Law No. 6723 On Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine on Protection of Economic Competition was adopted in its first reading.
It is designed to improve the system of simplified procedure for preliminary control introduced by Law No. 935, by adding to it the corresponding lists of cases and the procedure for considering such applications. It is also proposed to increase the fee for submitting applications for approval of concerted actions, mergers, provision of conclusions under Articles 14 and 29 of the Law On the Protection of Economic Competition by the Committee’s bodies (conclusions in the form of recommendatory explanations regarding compliance of the activities of economic entities with provisions of legislation; preliminary conclusions regarding concerted actions, mergers).
The notion of low significance violation is introduced into legislation on competition, which will grant bodies of the AMCU the right to refuse to investigate and to close cases regarding actions with formal signs of violating the legislation on protection of economic competition, but not significantly affecting competition on a market.
The maximum sums of fines that can be imposed by the Committee’s bodies, others than the AMCU itself, and its administrative collegiate bodies, will be 10,000 tax-exempt minimum incomes of citizens(this is currently 4,000 tax-exempt minimum incomes of citizens).
The procedure for enforced collection of fines imposed by the Committee for violation of legislation on protection of economic competition was also changed.
New measures for protecting business
A proposal was put forward in Parliament to amend measures implemented for business protection in the course of investigative procedures by increasing protection of entrepreneurs from pressure applied by state supervision bodies. Draft Law No.7326, submitted by a group of MPs, provides for changes in a number of laws and regulations, whose main objective, along with legal protection, is resolving existing problems on ensuring the administrative liability of officials of supervisory bodies.
Thus, the Code on Administrative Offences provides for imposition of liability for violation of the established period for conducting state supervision (control), its frequency and comprehensiveness, for violation of procedure for notification about inspection, as well as for violation of a number of other formal duties of inspectors. Moreover, administrative liability can be the result of violation of the procedure for selection of product samples, refusal to present ID and demand for information not related to the subject of the inspection.
It is proposed to supplement the Labor Code with the employer’s obligation to terminate the employment contract with an employee at its own initiative in case of repeat violations of requirements of legislation on state supervision (control). Moreover, the absence of facts of administrative offenses committed by a civil servant can become one of the indicators during assessment of the results of his/her official activities. Furthermore, the authors of the initiative proposed to grant powers to chambers of commerce and industry to authorize their representatives with the right to draw up administrative reports on facts of violations in the field of state supervision over economic activities.