PM Boc unveils govt’s priorities to Deputies’ Chamber

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Prime Minister Emil Boc on Tuesday unveiled the priorities of the Government’s legislative programme for the current session of Parliament, during a plenary sitting of the Deputies’ Chamber, also asking for the deputies’ support so that such goals should be achieved.

Boc stressed the current parliamentary session, which is the first one in many years taking place after elections, can have a decisive role in opening the way to the country’s modernisation. He underscored that Romania’s modernisation and jobs are two priorities of his cabinet. ‘A modernised state means the respect of the principle of equality before law, without discrimination’, the prime minister said; he pointed out that Romania at present spends too much to run the state.

He voiced hope the Government would issue less ordinances, either ordinary or urgent, and that the law-making process would be conducted by parliamentary debate based on the partnership between the executive and the law-making power. Boc said he hoped the current session would set the landmarks in view of cutting the number of parliamentarians and of switching to a single-house legislature, thus respecting the vote cast by the Romanians at a referendum in last November.

He insisted on the areas where the lower Deputies’ Chamber will have a decisive say, with particular stress on the planned reform of the pensions system. He said such a reformed system should be adopted in the current parliamentary session, in order to scrap the privileges existing in the system and to set right much abuse. Another legislative priority is represented by the fiscal responsibility law, Boc said, and expressed hope the law would be adopted by Parliament by the end of March.

The prime minister explained the advantages that the passage of the national education law might bring, among which the principle of decentralisation, simplified curriculum and its adjustment to the local community needs. According to Boc, the current session should pass the civil and penal proceedings codes and the local police law that has already cleared the upper Senate house.

On the economic issues, the prime minister said the Government plans to modify the minimum tax law and to turn such tax into a lump-sum tax. He added the executive seeks to pursue with the First House Programme and to settle the short-time working by a normative act. Other plans include the rehabilitation of the apartment blocks in order to cut heating losses as well as the continuation of the Old Car scrappage scheme and the First Silo programme.

Boc said Romania this year will get 4.3 billion euros by various European programmes. The mechanism of the guarantee and counter-guarantee fund for the small- and medium-sized firms will be used this year. He also spoke about welfare plans, such as the legal initiative on index-linking the minimum pension to the inflation. The current parliamentary session should adopt a draft law on the national minorities’ status in accordance with the constitution provisions, he added.

The prime minister highlighted the importance of the partnership that should exist between the executive and the legislature amid the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty that enhances the powers of the national parliaments.

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