NEWS IN SHORT

Parliament widens agriculture minister’s remit

DEPUTIES of the ruling coalition have approved a draft bill which would widen the powers of Agriculture Minister Stanislav Becík, a nominee of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). They approved an amending proposal by HZDS deputy Tibor Cabaj, who submitted it as part of a draft revision to the law on protection of economic competition, the SITA newswire reported.

DEPUTIES of the ruling coalition have approved a draft bill which would widen the powers of Agriculture Minister Stanislav Becík, a nominee of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS).
They approved an amending proposal by HZDS deputy Tibor Cabaj, who submitted it as part of a draft revision to the law on protection of economic competition, the SITA newswire reported.

The draft transfers competencies related to wood processing and development of biotechnologies from the Economy Ministry to the Agriculture Ministry. Cabaj said the transfer would foster more efficient solutions to problems amid the economic crisis.

HZDS chairman Vladimír Mečiar said after the session of the Coalition Council on April 14 that the leaders of the ruling coalition parties agreed to widen Minister Becík’s powers.

The draft revision to the law on the protection of economic competition changes the rules for businesses that decide to merge. It also cancels the 30-day term for notification of planned mergers. Moreover, it introduces a duty to notify the authorities of a planned merger after a takeover bid is announced.

The paper defines new fines which can be issued by the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic for providing incomplete or false information about mergers.

Penalties for flaws could equal one percent of turnover. Enterprises will be able to acquire full immunity against sanctions if they provide decisive evidence revealing cartel agreements. The bill will be effective as of June 1 if signed by the president.

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