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Fifth session of National Assembly’s House of Representatives opens

‘Playbill’ for new parliamentary season

By Maxim Osipov

Fifth session of National Assembly’s House of Representatives opens

before-the-session.pngOur parliamentarians have already been busy for over a year, passing around a hundred bills through the Oval Hall each session. They bear great responsibility, since they hold the fate of the country and its citizens in their hands. President Lukashenko noted on the eve of the session that the deputies should find a healthy balance between legislative stability and maintaining economic dynamism.

As is traditional, the 2015 draft budget will be a major issue for discussion this autumn. The Chairman of the House of Representatives, Vladimir Andreichenko, promises a thorough approach, as dictated by the President. He asserts, “We can only spend money which we know will be repaid tomorrow; this must be our standpoint in forming the budget.”

Ratification of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union is also high on the agenda, with the document already submitted to the House of Representatives, alongside a draft bill on its ratification. According to the Chairman of the Standing Committee on International Affairs, Nikolay Samoseiko, the treaty comprises four major parts: the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union; the Customs Union; the Single Economic Space; and transitional provisions.

A range of issues need to be solved before ratification, so preparations must be thorough, notes the Chairman of the Standing Commission on Economic Policy, Victor Valyushitsky. He is adamant that our national interests must not suffer.

During its autumn session, Parliament will focus also on social issues. In particular, amendments to the law on medicines have been prepared for discussion: to ensure more transparency. No one should be afraid of Belarusian pharmacies stocking poor quality medications as a result of the country’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. Amendments tackling the donation of blood and its components, as well as those supporting the recently adopted Law on Physical Culture and Sports, are other areas for debate.

Economic development and further modernisation will continue to receive attention, as will improvements to the investment climate and legislation on public-private partnership. The Civil and Forestry Codes, the bond market, guaranteed repayment of bank deposits by individuals, and advertising are all set to be debated, with amendments offered to current legislation.
A number of legislative acts aim to correct criminal, criminal procedure and criminal executive legislation, while improving the judiciary and ensuring national security and public order. Legislation needs to reflect 21st century needs, such as stronger laws to control drug trafficking, and the sale and use of psychotropic substances (alongside precursors and analogues).

In all, 35 issues are ready for consideration during the autumn session.
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