Czech presidential election (1st round) will be held on 12 and 13 January 2018.
On 6 December, President Milos Zeman appointed Andrej Babis Prime Minister of the Czech Government and on 13 December he appointed 13 ministers (incl. 4 female ministers). The ANO minority Government will be subject to the vote of confidence by the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic on 10 January 2018.
From the sessions of the Senate, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament
At its session on 6 December, the Senate passed draft amendment to the Act on Pharnaceuticals suggesting postponing obligatory e-prescription of pharmaceuticals to 2020, i.e. from January 2018. If adopted, it could have been a voluntary decision of each medical professional whether he or she wants to prescribe medicaments electronically. On 22 December, the Government expressed disapproval with postponing the e-prescription. The bill will be debated by the Chamber of Deputies, the Lower Chamber of the Czech Parliament where Civic Democrats are proposing postponing. .
At the session on 6 December the Senate passed a draft amendment to the Act on Income Tax submitted by Senator Libor Michalek, suggesting changes in taxation of investment funds for qualified investors (i.e. not general public). This type of invetsment funds have been used by developers, for example, for tax optimation, leading to tax evasion, the author of the bill says. The bill will be debated by the Government and the Chamber of Deputies, the Lower Chamber of the Czech Parliament.
The Senate draft amendment to the Act on Online Sales Registration (EET, o Evidenci tržeb) is proposing further exemptions from the set of entities obliged to comply with this act. Senators suggest exemptions for specific cases of social and health care services. The Senate passed this bill on 7 December; the bill will be debated by the Government and the Chamber of Deputies. At the same time, Civic Democrats in the Chamber of Deputies have proposed elimination of EET (which was rejected by the Government in December).
The Senate called upon the new Government to amend the Act on the Conflict of Interest that, in its current form, inadequately interfers into privacy of public officials by the obligation to dislose details about property owned by the officials and their relatives. Senators have also said that the obligation to diclose these details may deter talented local leaders from entering politics and paralyze townhalls.(Source: epravo.cz)
From the sessions of the Chamber of Deputies
Civic Democrats have proposed elimination of the regulation banning retailers with retail area larger than 200m2 to open their stores on selected national holidays, limiting their opening hours on the Christmas Eve, for example. This regulation was adopted in 2016 and does not apply to smaller retailers. The Government adopted neutral position on this proposal on 22 December.
Civic Democrats have also proposed elimination of the tax on the acquisition of immovable property from 1 January 2019, Effective since November 2016, the Senate's statutory measure has required, among others, that a purchaser would always pay the tax on the acquisition of immovable property; the parties in the transaction are not allowed to negotiate a contract in a different manner. This has lead to an increase in real estate acquisition costs by 4% rather than (anticipated) price decrease, Civis Democrats say. Before 2016, it was seller who paid the tax unless the parties agreed otherwise. The Government expressed disapproval with the bill on 22 December.
From the sessions of the Government
At its session on 29 November, the Government decided to increase funding of scholarships for students from developing countries studying the Czech Republic by 3,6bn CZK, There is 115,6bn CZK in the state budget allocated for Czech development cooperation in 2017. (Source: epravo.cz)