Min­is­ter: re­stric­tion for off­shores from par­tic­i­pat­ing in pub­lic pro­cure­ments threat­ens with lit­i­ga­tion

Baltic News Network - - News -

Saeima’s de­ci­sions to pro­hibit off­shores from taking part in pub­lic pro­cure­ments is un­sup­port­able and threat­ens with lit­i­ga­tion, says Lat­vian Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dana Reizniece-Ozola. On 1 Fe­bru­ary, the Saeima ap­proved amend­ments to the law in which com­pa­nies reg­is­tered in coun­tries with low taxes and con­tenders in Latvia as­so­ci­ated with such busi­nesses are pro­hib­ited from par­tic­i­pat­ing in pub­lic pro­cure­ments. The pro­posal was sub­mit­ted by the Saeima fac­tion of the Na­tional Al­liance. Fi­nance Min­istry, Pro­cure­ment Mon­i­tor­ing Bureau and lawyers as­sessed the par­lia­ment’s de­ci­sion and con­cluded that it does not com­ply with in­ter­na­tional norms.

«Eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties must not be al­lowed to be lim­ited based solely on the place of reg­is­tra­tion. A com­pletely dif­fer­ent fac­tor is if a busi­ness in ques­tion is caught avoid­ing taxes and laun­der­ing funds. The place of reg­is­tra­tion can­not be a rea­son for deny­ing busi­nesses the abil­ity to par­tic­i­pate in pro­cure­ments,» said the fi­nance min­is­ter. Fi­nance Min­istry is busy pre­par­ing a re­port to Pres­i­dent Rai­monds Vējo­nis for him to as­sess the min­istry’s ar­gu­ments be­fore amend­ments are ap­proved.

«If the pres­i­dent de­clares amend­ments to the law, it is pos­si­ble lit­i­ga­tion may fol­low shortly af­ter, be­cause amend­ments pro­pose un­equal treat­ment of busi­ness­men,» adds Reizniece-Ozola. As pre­vi­ously re­ported, Unity and Union of Greens and Farm­ers sup­ported the pro­posal to deny off­shores the right to par­tic­i­pate in pro­cure­ments. Still, mem­bers of the two par­ties are con­cerned about amend­ments re­sult­ing in sanc­tions be­ing ap­plied on Latvia by the Euro­pean Union.

Lat­vian Cham­ber for Com­merce and In­dus­try sup­ports Saeima’s ap­proved amend­ments that pro­hibit busi­nesses reg­is­tered in low-tax coun­tries from taking part in pro­cure­ments, said LCCI pres­i­dent Ai­gars Ros­tovskis.

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