Skopje, 28th December 2012 (MIA) – Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, within continuation of the 47th session, adopted the Law on Borrowing of the Republic of Macedonia at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development under Loan Agreement for the First Programmatic Competitiveness Development Policy Operation, Law on Execution of 2013 Budget of the Republic of Macedonia and amendments and modifications to the Budget Law.

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, pointed out that the first programmatic policy development loan from the World Bank was intended for improvement of competitiveness of the Republic of Macedonia and was awarded on the basis of fulfillment of all conditions related to reforms in several areas pertaining to competitiveness.

– The four key activities supported under this loan are in the following areas: developing high value-added manufacturing, facilitating the restructuring of agribusiness, improving the efficiency of trade logistic services and greater flexibility of the labour market, Stavreski said.

Government of the Republic of Macedonia, he underlined, has met all conditions as for the project to be presented before WB Board of Executive Directors, as follows: adoption of the Law on Modifications and Amendments to the Law on TIDZ, by which TIDZ Directorate is assigned a legal competence to provide one-stop-shop services, adoption of a Strategy on Export Promotion, containing an Action Plan on Support to Exporters, MAFWE to establish a functioning Electronic system for land management, Government of the Republic of Macedonia to adopt five-year National Program on Development of Agriculture and Rural Development for the period 2013-2017 aimed at increasing efficiency of agricultural production, authorization to the Customs Administration for coordination of inspections of different inspection bodies at key border crossings, quarterly data from the Customs Administration on waiting time for completion of customs formalities, Ministry of Transport and Communications commenced distribution of annual CEMT permits through a system which gives priority to vehicles with Euro 4 and Euro 5 standards, adoption of the Law on Modifications and Amendments to the Law on Employment and Unemployment Insurance, defining unemployed persons as active job seekers, adoption of the Law on Modifications and Amendments to the Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners to the end of streamlining visa issuance procedures.

– These are the nine conditions the Government has met so as to be awarded the funds, Stavreski said.

Funds are awarded under exceptionally favourable conditions, Vice Prime Minister underlined, conditions which can probably not be awarded elsewhere on the capital market. – Repayment period is 18 years, with five-year grace period, and the interest rate is low at the moment, being 0.58%, Stavreski said.

Pavle Trajanov from the Democratic Union said that obligations were thus increased for the parliamentary majority, which, according to him, should more carefully debate about the laws in the absence of most of the opposition MPs.

– I would like to point out two important things. We should be extremely careful as regards borrowing, Trajanov said, pointing out that it was a matter of an arrangement extended under exceptionally favourable conditions.

MPs also determined the need for adoption of modifications to the Law on Records Registry, amendments to the Law on Acting upon Complaints and Motions, draft Law on Sale and Lease of Business Buildings and Premises in the Republic of Macedonia, draft Law on Auto Camp Site, modifications and amendments to the Law on Transportation of Dangerous Goods in Road and Railway Traffic, Law on Transportation in Road Traffic, Law on Temporary Employment Agencies, Law on Labor Relations, Law on Mandatory Fully Funded Pension Insurance and Law on Voluntary Fully Funded Pension Insurance.

The session was adjourned. 47th session agenda also includes modifications and amendments to the Electoral Code, draft Law on Modifications to the Criminal Code and draft Law on Pecuniary Assistance to Unemployed Persons due to Privatization of Socially- and State-Owned Enterprises, which laws have undergone the first reading, and are submitted by the opposition MPs.

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