The Government of Kosovo held its regular meeting
Pristina, 14 March 2017
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo, led by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, held its 137th regular meeting, whereby approved a draft law, documents and other decisions within the scope of its constitutional and legal responsibilities.
The first point approved by the Government Cabinet was the Draft Law on Business Organization. The reason for drafting this draft law is to address the need for alignment of existing Law on Business Organization and its amendments and supplements with the EU legislation in accordance with the requirements of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the National Plan for implementation of the SAA. Another reason for the drafting of this draft law is to increase protection of small investors in Corporations as well as improvement and further simplification of procedures for registration of Business Organizations based on the methodology requirements of the World Bank - Doing Business Report.
The government approved the Decision to amend the Government Decision no. 06/17 dated 07.03.2015, which enables members of Chambers of Commerce, who are part of the Kosovo Council for Financial Reporting, to be elected in rotation with a one year mandate based on Article 13 of the Law 04/L-013 for Accounting, Financial Reporting and Auditing in accordance with the mandate for registration of Chambers of Commerce operating in Kosovo and who are members of the National Economic Development Council.
The Government Cabinet also approved the initiative for negotiating additional funding of the Agriculture and Rural Development Project, between the Republic of Kosovo and the International Development Association. Ministry of Finance, upon the request by the Ministry of Agriculture, initiated the process of negotiating a financial agreement in the form of a loan from the World Bank amounting to almost EUR 20 million for the agriculture and rural development project. The ministry is completing a project funded by the World Bank, which will be concluded in June this year. The ministry considers the continuation of funding for the same activities as necessary, but now adding a new component regarding the rehabilitation of the agricultural land irrigation system in the Dukagjin Plain through the system of Radoniq. This project has the following objectives: improve the objectivity and access to markets for farmers in horticulture and livestock sector, and consolidate the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The government approved the initiative for adopting the Additional Protocol No. 5 on the Agreement for amending and accession to the Central Europe Free Trade Agreement. This Protocol, following its ratification by member countries will be an integral part of the CEFTA agreement. The negotiation of this Protocol is a response to repeated requests from the business community to create incentives and eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade between CEFTA countries. This protocol will create an additional guarantee for Kosovo exporters trading with countries in the region and further facilitating the procedures.
The Government also approved the preliminary decision on expropriation of private, municipal and social property, affected by the construction of the "Economic Industrial Zone" in front of the Business Park in Drenas, namely the Cadastral Zone in Sankoc and preliminary decision to expropriate for the purpose of public interest of immovable property affected by the construction of permanent buildings of the integrated border management IBM, Border Crossing Points: Bernjak, Merdare and Mutivodë.
The concept paper on Construction Land was also supported. This concept paper will clearly define the issue of construction land ownership, linkage between land ownership and building ownership with the aim of creating a single type of ownership, regulating sustainable construction land management, including the method of determining construction land, protection of owners property rights in construction zones. Also, this process will enable the alignment of our legislation in this area with that of the European Union, consequently strengthening and protecting human rights, and strengthening the market economy.
Also, the Decision to allocate funds for the project "Purchase of Equipment for Toxicology Laboratory", was approved by the Government Cabinet.
During today's meeting, the decision for allocating funds for the functioning of crime victims compensation program was also approved. This process enables financial compensation of crime victims or victims of certain crimes categories , such as murder, trafficking in human beings, rape, sexual abuse of children, or criminal offenses that fall within the scope of the law on protection from domestic violence.
The government also adopted its third report on Planning and Implementation of the 'Investment Clause', which includes new projects approved by the National Investment Council. These projects were approved in February this year and include the construction of the National Stadium, supply of equipment for hospitals throughout Kosovo, and improvement of sewage networks in Gracanica and Shtime. The total number of projects, including these three projects, expected to be financed through "the investment clause is 19 and their total amount reaches to EUR 1.2 billion.
The government cabinet was also informed about the Report on the Performance of Revenues and Expenditure January-February 2017.
The Government Cabinet was also informed about the meeting of the Sub-Committee of SAA for Agriculture and Fishery, which will be held on 21st of March in Brussels. Sub-Committees are part of formal structures for monitoring and implementing the Stabilization and Association Agreement. During the meeting will be discussed the progress made on the implementation of reforms including last year conclusions and challenges, as well as measures to be taken for implementation of the criteria and further alignment with the EU policies in the sectors of food security, agriculture, rural development and forestry, and fishery.
The meeting that the Minister of European Integration had with the DG Director for Western Balkans Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, with whom she discussed about the importance of implementing the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the implementation of the European Reform Agenda, importance of visa liberalization, achievements of the Government and institutions in fulfilling the criteria, as well as the importance of passing the demarcation by the Assembly of Kosovo, were also discussed during the meeting.
"Ms. Calavera praised the Governments engagement in implementing the European Reform Agenda, and emphasised that the concern of the European Committee is the Law on Wages as a concern, whereby her request was that this law, and the Laws on Civil Servants and Public Administration, are adopted as a package and subjected to reviewing, and then all three of these law are proceeded to the Assembly, so that the same are not separated and cause any confusion while being addressed and discussed by our institutions " stated Minister Ahmetaj.
Following the debate on the issue, the Prime Minister Mustafa stated that the requirement is to have these laws approved as a package by the Assembly.
"Considering that we are at the initial stage with the other two laws, we cannot delay the work of the Assembly with the Law on Salaries, therefore it is best to address the Assembly and withdraw the law from the proceedings of the Assembly, meaning that until these two other laws are prepared and other harmonization needed are conducted, we do not proceed the law to the assembly. Whereas, with regard to the textual part, I believe the law is perfectly in order. The tabular part can be aligned with these two other laws, and our main efforts should be to precede these laws to the Assembly as a package. Since the issue of public companies has been a topic of debate, it would be useful to also think on how it would be best to regulate the issue of different agencies which have not been sufficiently regulated with the Law on Salaries that was submitted, so that all our goals regarding the regulation of salaries and horizontal harmonization of these three laws, are accomplished at once" stated Prime Minister Mustafa, requesting the withdrawal of the Law on Salaries from the Assembly, and acceleration of work on the other two laws, namely the law on Civil Servants and the Law on organization of Public Administration, so that the three are harmonized simultaneously, and proceeded to the Assembly in cooperation with the EU office .
The Minister of Finances also informed the Government of Kosovo about the IMFs Board decision to conduct second and third review of the program, thereby concluding that all conditions stipulated in the program have been fulfilled. As a result of such achievements, EUR100 million were disbursed today in the state budget, designated for direct budgetary support of expenditures that are deemed necessary.
Prime Minister Mustafa, considered this as very good news, noting that EUR100 million is a valuable and significant amount, and first and foremost, a proof that this Government has meet the criteria of the IMF.
"It is a very significant material value, and a tribute of the work that has been done," stated the Prime Minister Mustafa.
Even the First Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Hajredin Kuçi, congratulated Minister Hoti and other ministries for the work they have done, mentioning the Law on Veterans, which received the full understanding by the war associations, Minister Abrashi and the Assembly of Kosovo, whose management has brought success which we all enjoy.
"I believe that with such good coordination, we will have future projections that preserve the financial stability of our country, as well as maintain international partnership. Naturally, the issue of finance sometimes, due to public pressure, is not easy to be handled to say the least, but discipline is what ensures success in the end. I would like to congratulate all those involved and who contributed, not only in the financial sphere, which has a lot influence on us. The amount of EUR 100 million also requires influence in disciplining of a country stable in financial policies" stated the Deputy Prime Minister Kuçi.
The Minister of Public Administration, Mr. Mahir Yagcilar, informed the cabinet that he held the meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Council for Public Administration Reform, which was attended only by the Minister of European Integration, Ms. Mimoza Ahmetaj. He urged for proper participation by ministries in this meeting, due to the fact that these are decisions that must be processed in the Government.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Hykmete Bajrami, spoke about her visit to Saranda, within intensification of economic cooperation. She said that the Ministry of Trade and Industry in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Industry of Albania, the Municipality of Saranda and the Albanian Embassy in Prishtina has conducted a visit, along with 20 businesses from Kosovo, including manufacturers, builders and representatives of hotel and tourism sector. She said that during the visit, they had fruitful meetings with Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Industry of Albania and the President of the Municipality of Saranda, who have been part of this visit. Minister Bajrami stated that at the end of the visit were signed 3 contracts for the sale of wine produced in Kosovo, and also a contract for the supply of medicinal plants of Agroprodukti in Istog.