Lat­vian pres­i­dent re­turns to Saeima amend­ments that deny off­shores ac­cess to pro­cure­ments

Baltic News Network - - News -

On Fri­day, 9 Fe­bru­ary, Pres­i­dent of Latvia Rai­monds Vējo­nis re­turned to the Saeima amend­ments to the Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Law that deny off­shores ac­cess to pub­lic pro­cure­ments. The par­lia­ment now has to re­view the doc­u­ment again, as BNN was in­formed by the State Pres­i­dent’s Chan­cellery. «This is the sev­enth time I re­turn the hastily put to­gether and shod­dily re­viewed pro­posal back to the Saeima. Amend­ments to the Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Law prove that the third read­ing is not the best time to pro­pose solutions that were never dis­cussed in pre­vi­ous two read­ings. Such a rushed and poorly put to­gether leg­isla­tive process is not in the in­ter­est of Lat­vian res­i­dents,» said Vējo­nis.

In his let­ter to Saeima speaker, the pres­i­dent men­tioned that reg­u­la­tions sub­mit­ted for the third read­ing have ma­jor flaws, which, ac­cord­ing to Vējo­nis, pre­vent ac­com­plish­ment of de­clared goals and in­stead cre­ate ad­di­tional costs at the ex­pense of the state bud­get and at risk of breach­ing EU leg­is­la­tion.

Vējo­nis also points out cer­tain con­tra­dic­tory reg­u­la­tions in the law that put busi­nesses reg­is­tered in Latvia at a dis­ad­van­tage when com­pared with busi­nesses reg­is­tered in low­tax ar­eas of dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

The pres­i­dent sup­ports the goals reach­able through those con­tra­dic­tory mea­sures. Nev­er­the­less, he points to the cur­rent Pub­lic Pro­cure­ments Law. Pub­lic re­sources and funds are pro­vided only to per­sons who have paid taxes and have com­pleted their du­ties be­fore the state. This is a log­i­cal re­quire­ment that has been present in the law for years.

«By in­vest­ing fi­nances pro­vided by EU funds in 2014-2020 plan­ning pe­riod into pub­lic wel­fare, eco­nomic growth and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, we can­not af­ford to cre­ate con­di­tions un­der which the state bud­get suf­fers losses,» the pres­i­dent men­tioned in his let­ter to the Saeima speaker. By re­turn­ing the amend­ments to the Saeima for a re­peated view­ing, the pres­i­dent asks the par­lia­ment to decide on pro­pos­als sub­mit­ted in the third read­ing. The pres­i­dent asked the Saeima to en­sure only pro­pos­als dis­cussed in pre­vi­ous read­ings reach the third and fi­nal read­ing. This would help avoid sit­u­a­tions when dodgy pro­pos­als are sub­mit­ted and ap­proved in the third read­ing. It would also help improve so­ci­ety’s trust in the Saeima.

Evija Tri­fanova/LETA

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