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The economic crisis effects on business and legislative initiatives to limit its negative impact discussed by deputies, representatives of the executive and the scientific community
June 28, 2010

The effects of the economic crisis on the Bulgarian business and the undertaking of legislative initiatives aimed at containing its negative impact were discussed in the parliament at a Round Table attended by members of parliament, representatives of the executive branch and the country’s scientific circles. The Round Table, hosted by the National Assembly, on June 28, 2010 was entitled "Economic crisis - Legislating in support of business."

Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva, who was leading the event, said at the opening that in order for businesses to operate in a market economy and set their internal market rules and regulations they need the protection of a strong state. She explained that a strong state means well functioning state structures, with lacking bureaucratic and administrative obstacles, better formulated and strictly enforced regulations. In her words, the establishing of smooth environment for businesses will lead to the increase of tax revenues in the state coffers, more jobs, improved social policies, healthcare and education. Tsetska Tsacheva declared the readiness of the National Assembly to support the business in the country based on dialogue and constructiveness.

The Deputy Prime and Interior Minister Tsvetanov pointed to the participants that the Interior Ministry seeks not to lower the prestige of the state but wants to make sure that businesses could rely on the law enforcement system. He stressed that the government is in favor of building additional energy capacity, but under clear rules. According to him the most important sectors of the Bulgarian economy will be the sectors of tourism and agriculture. He said that among the most serious problems, with greatest harm to the budget, was the VAT fraud. According to him, tightening the control on VAT collection is a tool for financial recovery, but should not interfere with the work of the correct companies.

Lydia Yordanova, Head of the National Center for the Study of Public Opinion (NCSPO) presented a report titled "Dynamics of the mass perceptions about the 2008 – 2010 economic crisis”. She unveiled the details of a survey, conducted by the NCSPO and the Bulgarian Industrial Association, in the period of May 14 to June 15, 2010, particularly for the Round Table, among 580 managers of private companies in all areas of business.

The majority (69 percent) of business leaders believe that there are no laws which impede the work of their companies. They state as examples of good laws, which support business, the Trade Act, the laws regulating the VAT, the corporate income tax, the laws in favor of foreign investments, and those for the small and medium enterprises.

Among the laws, listed as unfavorable to the business were the Public Procurement Act, the Planning of the Territory Act, the Act for Healthy and Safety Work Conditions, the Excise Duty and Personal Income Tax Acts.

The study comes to the conclusion that the main negative effect of the economic crisis on the businesses remains the reduced output of production and sales. Inter-company indebtedness is the second.

Business representatives approve, looking from the stand point of their companies, some of the anti-crisis measures of the government. The study shows that the measures to increase the VAT, the retirement age and the health insurance contributions face the biggest disapproval.
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