The parliamentary budget and planning committee has approved a draft law submitted by the government outlining the financial measures to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The draft law consists of seven articles that aim to give the cabinet the power to interfere in postponing the payment of some taxes alongside other financial obligations and insurances. It also gives the cabinet the power to install them, or to extend the term of their installments without burdens.
The committee modified the second article on submitting tax returns so that it can apply to tax returns provided by ordinary citizens, whose deadline expired on 31 March.
The fifth article was also amended and its provisions reformulated to ensure that it does not violate worker rights in facilities that have benefited from the law’s provisions.
The budget and planning committee had received the draft law from the government on 16 April, to study and prepare a report for presentation to the parliament.
Given that this exceptional event does not have a time limit, the draft law does not have a set period before it’s expiry. Instead, the cabinet has has a maximum limit set for its power to postpone or install the financial obligations referred to.
In its report, the committee said the state is using the draft law to put in place employment protections in the economic, production, or service sectors. As part of these conditions, a company, facility, or individual should benefit from provisions in the draft law without reducing or totally removing existing employment.
The committee said that, due to the current exceptional situation, the draft law grants the Prime Minister the authority to issue any decisions implementing the law without the need for executive regulations. This can be undertaken only following approval from the cabinet.
The draft law aims to address the fallout from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, whilst also providing partial assistance. This is represented in the scheduled dates for submitting tax returns or paying tax being postponed for three months, and which can be renewed again without fines.
Furthermore, the draft law allows fees for administrative services to be postponed for three months without delay charges. This is in addition to supporting economic, production, or service sectors affected by the epidemic in providing cash they need through deferring or installing all or some of social insurance dues.