The draft amendment to the Act on Criminal Liability of Legal Entities, Bill no. 304, had its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies in November 2014 and its review at the level of standing committees of the Chamber was interrupted (in January and again in March 2015). The Act entered into force on 1 January 2012 and comprises a list of acts for which a legal entity bears criminial liability. The intent of the draft amendment is to replace this list (comprising a limited number of criminal acts) by a list of criminal acts with which legal persons cannot be charged. This approach should cover a much wider range of criminal breaches, the proponents suggest.
The Government received on 7 May 2015 the Bill no. 478, draft Act on the termination of the Act on Significant Market Power for the Sale of Agricultural and Food Products and Abuse thereof. Proponents (a group of MPs) suggest termination, as, among other reasons, it only addresses the issue of dominance on the part of buyers without mentioning the dominant position of suppliers in buyer-supplier relationships. This is a discriminatory approach. In their words, the best regulation would be no regulation in the case of the Czech retail market. The Government already approved on 9 March 2015 a draft amendment to the Act on Significant Market Power. The Bill extends the list of banned practices of retail chains, such as charging of listing fees, for example. Newly, according to the draft act, sanctions for violation of the law by retail chains could be as high as 10% of their net turnover or 10 million CZK.
At its session on 6 May 2015 the Government passed a draft amendment to the Act on the Support of Research, Experimental Development and Innovation. The aim of the bill is to harmonize the Czech law with the new EU legislation and thus increase clarity and applicability of the national legislation. The draft amendment comprises changes in terminology, definitions (industrial research, applied research, experimental development, research organizations), conditions for subsidies and cummulation thereof, etc. To view the draft act, click here.
At its session on 18 May 2015, the Government approved the termination of the second pillar of the pension system as of 1 January 2016. According to the bill, no further inflows to the second pillar will be allowed after this date and all funds will be paid back to citizens by the end of 2016. The Chamber of Deputies passed at the end of April 2015 the government bill the aim of which is to stop new clients from entering the second pillar.
The Czech government approved on 18 May 2015 a Bill on proving the origin of assests according to which the tax administration will ask for evidence if the value of unregistered property tops Kc7m and will possibly impose a tax on it. The bill is yet to be passed by parliament and signed by the president. It might take effect as of January 2016. Source: CTK. Click here to read the article.
At its session on 25 May 2015, the Government passed the program called Trio, a 6.15 billion CZK package to support applied research and experimental development in the 2016-2020 period, mainly in the areas of fotonics, micro- and nanoelectronics, nanotechnologies, industrial biotechnologies, and other high-tech industries. The program aims at increasing the applicability of research and development results in Czech businesses, including the Prague region. Applicants can apply for sums up to 20 million CZK. Calls for projects will be announced in 2015-2017. The program has been criticized by the Economic Chamber and the Czech Technology Agency. According to the Economic Chamber, there is no support allocated for the areas of environment and transportation. Also, most funds would flow into institutional support of research organizations, without putting emphasis on greater focus of these organizations on applied research, the Economic Chamber say. The Government promised funds for the Technology Agency CR program Epsilon for 2016, but no new call for projects will be announced in 2015. Click here to read more.