The sitting of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee

10 Jul 2020
The sitting of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee

The Committee discussed with the I reading the bill on E-Communications, submitted by the Chair of the National Communication Commission, Kakhi Bekauri.

The Chair, Roman Kakulia addressed MPs about the 3-day consultations with all parties concerned regarding the bill: “Despite that the bill is submitted for accelerated consideration, the last three days were dedicated to the consultations with the parties concerned. We got cognizant with the letter of the Bar Association and the joint address of the operators, and met with one. For 3 days, we have been holding the intensive communication with the regulator and now, we may inquire about the information necessary for the informed decision-making”.

As the reporter noted, the bill grants the Commission with the special authorities allowing the Commission to enforce the made decisions and improve regulation of e-communications sphere.

The offered mechanism is not a sanction but an effective mechanism for enforcement of the decisions made by the Commission.

According to the current law, the Commission is entitled to, in case of the failure of any party authorized or licensed in the e-communications to fulfill the Commission decisions, apply the sanctions: warning; penalty within 3000-30000 GEL; repeated penalty within 9000-90000 GEL; if the violation is still not eliminated, the repeated penalty within 27000-270000 GEL; and the last is termination of the authority or the license. Besides, the current law envisages the Commission’s authority to annul the authorization or the license after the initial penalty without waiting for further penalties. Yet another factor is time, namely the term for elimination of the violations. The bill does not envisage the new sanctions as the sanctions are already envisaged under the current law.

“The bill offers the mechanism – not the sanction but the mechanism to effectively enforce the decisions of the Commission. Article 172 of the General Administrative Code determines only the general institution and fails to include the application mechanism as it makes a reservation to the special law, which shall outline the details of application of this mechanism. Deriving from this reservation, the bill aims to fill this vacuum in the legislation”.

Absence of this mechanism means that the whole communication market is under risk.

The reporter answered the questions by MPs, various organizations, Business Association, communication and broadcasting companies.

After long considerations, R. Kakulia stated that more communication shall be held with the parties concerned and decided to convene the extended meeting of the Commission on Saturday to re-consider the bill.

The Committee discussed the bill on Code of Administrative Offenses; and the bill on Criminal Code of Georgia, introduced by Nino Tsilosani.

According to her, fulfillment of the fuel and diesel quality norms and environmental protection requirements is one of the priorities in the country. While establishing the European norms, the emissions to the air and fuel quality issues shall be strictly regulated.

The change introduced envisages the penalty of 30 000 GEL if the imported fuel or diesel fail to meet the established requirements, and the penalty in the amount of multiplication of the actual number of the liters to 15. MP Merab Kvaraia introduced with the I reading the bill on Social Entrepreneurship concerning the social allowances and stated that social allowance implies development of private-public partnership as solution of public issues is not the duty not of only state but the society, public administration and business.

The bill aims at development of social entrepreneurship and its institutionalization through the legal basis.

MP Roman Kakulia introduced with the II reading the bill on Competition aiming at the reform in the Competition Agency and regulation of the competitive milieu.

He answered the questions.

The Committee did not hold the voting due to the absence of quorum.