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Peculiarities of national, economical and cultural security high on the agenda at the recent sitting of the National Assembly’s House of Representatives

Protection of cultural layer and other moments

Peculiarities of national, economical and cultural security high on the agenda at the recent sitting of the National Assembly’s House of Representatives. In their first reading, deputies adopted additions to some codes regarding archaeological artefact protection.

The Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Gervyaty, built in 1899-1903, registered into the List of Historical and Cultural Treasures of Belarus

According to specialists, there are over 2,000 archaeological monuments in the country, in addition to 10,000+ archaeological sites. Truly, this is a great space for ‘black diggers’. Until recently, the latter enjoyed lack of punishment — creating much harm to the cultural heritage. From now on, these people will face a legislative barrier.

Last year, the President put an issue of archaeological legacy protection and, as a result, a decree was adopted. In line with the document, only professionally trained people can be involved into archaeological searches; moreover, they’d need to receive permission from the National Academy of Sciences. All archaeological findings are subject to be transferred to the state property.

“We work to meet this decree,” explains the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee for Education, Culture and Science, Natalia Kuchinskaya. “For the first time in the country’s history, an administrative liability is launched on the legislative level for illegal digging and turnover of archaeological artefacts.”

Fees are not small: illegal digging of artefacts is subject to paying 15-50 basic units (one basic unit makes Br210,000 at present), while illegal turnover would result in a fee of 10-30 basic units. Moreover, criminals’ digging equipment will be confiscated.

Those gathering at the Oval Hall also focused on such topical problems as business offshoring, white washing and terrorism financing. To counteract these crimes, amendments to the law on prevention of legalisation of criminal revenues were adopted in two readings. The new article regulates mechanisms of money freezing and blocking of financial operations of persons connected with the terroristic activity. The latter will also be prohibited to register property or other deals.

The Deputy Finance Minister, Dmitry Kiyko, has informed on changes in the Tax Code. These are related to the forthcoming denomination of the Belarusian Rouble: from July 1st, rates of all fees and taxes — set in Roubles — will be cut 10,000 times, under the principle of rounding. There are no plans to change the rates but the Finance Ministry does not exclude some corrections in the US Dollar exchange rate (set by the budget). “We’ll proceed from the parameters close the acting rate,” explains Mr. Kiyko. “I personally assume that the corridor of Br19-21,000 per US Dollar will be preserved.”

By Yevgeny Kononov
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