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Fico: Regulated companies to pay levy of 4.2 percent for two years

Strategic regulated companies doing business in Slovakia will pay a one-off levy of 4.2 percent of their earnings in 2012 and 2013, Prime Minister Robert Fico said at a press conference on Tuesday, May 29. The government expects to raise €100 million a year via the measure, Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that the funds would be used for activities aimed at boosting economic growth.

Strategic regulated companies doing business in Slovakia will pay a one-off levy of 4.2 percent of their earnings in 2012 and 2013, Prime Minister Robert Fico said at a press conference on Tuesday, May 29. The government expects to raise €100 million a year via the measure, Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that the funds would be used for activities aimed at boosting economic growth.

"These must be companies which do business in the regulated environment, so we're speaking about, for example, telecommunications companies, postal services and the energy sector. Their earnings have to be at least €3 million and at least 51 percent of their activities have to be directed at the regulated environment," Fico specified. This is one of the measures aimed at replenishing the state budget set to be discussed at the government session on Thursday. Negotiations will also concern an extraordinary bank levy of 0.1 percent to be deducted from an extended base of the standard bank levy (which is already in force and applies at a rate of 0.4 percent on selected assets). According to this plan, from the final quarter of 2012 the levy will apply not only to company deposits but also to individuals’ deposits. This is supposed to raise an additional €125 million for the state. A special package of bank services for €1, designed for low-earners, should also be discussed at the next parliamentary session in June.

"These proposals directly include a legislative ban on the banks transferring the costs of these levies to their customers. The Slovak Central Bank (NBS), as regulator, will be able to monitor these procedures. But we also accept the banks’ promise that they will behave responsibly," Fico said, stressing that Slovak-based banks are among the most profitable in Europe.

Radovan Pala of law firm Taylor Wessing told the Sme daily that the new measure will probably include only firms with annual profits over €3 million, which would put small companies in these sectors at an advantage.

Sources: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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