News (#7-8 July-August 2021)

Draft

Verkhovna Rada approved draft law on oligarchs in first reading

MPs have approved in the first reading presidential Draft Law No. 5599 On the Prevention of Threats to National Security Related to Excessive Influence of Persons of Significant Economic or Political Clout in Public Life (Oligarchs).

This version proposes to define an oligarch as “a person of significant economic or political clout in public life (oligarch), who simultaneously meets at least three of the following criteria.”

To be considered an oligarch, one must take part in political life, have a significant influence on the media, be a monopolist in the national commodity market and own assets amounting to more than 1 million minimum wages. If three of these features are true for one person, he/she is entered in the Register of Oligarchs.

Persons who take part in political life automatically include the President, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the First Deputy and Deputy Speakers of the Verkhovna Rada, MPs, the Prime Minister, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers, their First Deputies and Deputies, and the Head of another central executive body, non-member of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Prosecutor-General, the Head of the National Bank, etc. and/or who is a related party to the above.

Also, those that take part in political life are persons who hold senior positions in the bodies of a political party and/or finance the activities of a political party, political campaigns or the holding of rallies or demonstrations that make political demands.

A significant influence on the media is determined as one when the person is or used to be (at the time of entry into force of the law) a beneficiary or controller of the media.

The decision to include oligarchs in the Register is made by the National Security and Defense Council on the basis of a proposal from the Cabinet of Ministers, a member of the National Security and Defense Council, the NBU, the Security Service of Ukraine or the Antimonopoly Committee. The decision of the National Security and Defense Council is put into effect by the President of Ukraine. It enters into force after its official publication.

Regulations on the formation of the Register of Oligarchs are also approved by the National Security and Defense Council. It should be available on a round-the-clock basis on the National Security and Defense Council’s website.

Also, persons from this Register will have to submit a declaration of income. 

Moreover, the law introduces the concept of “declaration of contacts”. Any officials shall be obliged to inform whether they have been in contact with an oligarch or his/her representative. At the same time, it will be possible not to file such a declaration if the meeting with the oligarch was on television, in court or at the events initiated by public authorities.

The Draft also proposes to oblige oligarchs to report that they are included in the Register of Oligarchs before meeting with officials.

Submission of the “declaration of contacts” also provides for relevant requirements. If a person does not submit such a declaration, he or she may be held politically or disciplinary liable.

 

Law enables taxes for casinos and bookmakers to be cut

The MPs voted to reduce taxes for the gambling business in the first reading, namely to reduce taxes from 18% to 10% for bookmakers and casinos, as well as from 30% to 10% for operators.

This is stated in Draft Law  2713-д, which reduces income tax rate for online gambling operators from 30% to 10%. The document also proposes to reduce the rate of income tax from 18% to 5% for bookmakers, from 18% to 10% for casinos, and to 10% for the issuance and conduct of lotteries.

Gambling operators are also expected to pay income tax at the general rate of 18%.

And winnings of up to 8 minimum wages (UAH 48,000) will be exempted from personal income tax and the military levy.

 

MPs supported rise in guaranteed amount for depositors to 600,000 in first reading

The Verkhovna Rada supported in the first reading Draft Law  No. 5542-1, which proposes to increase the amount of the guarantee of deposits for individuals to UAH 600,000 by 2023, as well as to take state-owned Oschadbank to the Deposit Guarantee System.

The document provides for an increase in the guaranteed amount of reimbursement of deposits from UAH 200,000 to UAH 400,000 from the date of entry into force of the law and until 31 December  2022.

The guaranteed amount will increase to UAH 600,000 from 1 January 2023.

 

Draft law on activities of AMCU passes first reading in Verkhovna Rada

The Verkhovna Rada adopted the Draft Law On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning the Improvement of the Activities of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (Draft Law No. 5431) in its first reading.

In particular, it is proposed to improve the mechanisms of control over the concentrations of economic entities; determine the procedure for conducting inspections of business entities; to introduce institutions of settlement in cases; to introduce joint liability of defendants when paying fines.

The innovations include granting AMCU bodies the right to conduct inspections only in the presence of signs of violation of the legislation on protection of economic competition in order to collect evidence of violation.

At the same time, the AMCU will receive additional tools for inspections: the possibility of conducting physical searches and confiscation of documents and ensuring the exchange of information with other law-enforcement agencies.

It is also planned to introduce the obligation of subjects of state registration, notaries to provide, at the request of the AMCU, documentation or registration cases related to consideration of cases of violation of legislation on protection of economic competition.

 

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