25th sitting of the Sejm, first day

The deputies voted not to supplement the agenda with information from the Minister of Health on ensuring by the state the implementation of the conditions for termination of pregnancy set out in Article 4a of the Act of 7 January 1993 on family planning, protection of the human fetus and conditions for permissibility of termination of pregnancy.

In its second reading, the House dealt with the government's draft amendment to the Act on the National School of Public Administration and certain other acts. The draft proposes that KSAP be named after Poland's President Lech Kaczyński. In its justification, the proposer stresses that the choice of Lech Kaczyński as the school's patron stems from the former president's commitment to promoting the idea of the school, namely the creation of a modern public service. The Government points out that the nomination was accepted by the KSAP authorities. It has also gained the approval of the academic community and state authorities. The project has been referred back to committee for further work.

The Sejm also continued work, in the second reading, on the government's draft amendment to the Act on the functioning of the hard coal mining industry and certain other acts. Its purpose is, among others, to enable the release of funds from a special-purpose reserve to subsidize tasks performed during mine liquidation, protective benefits in the form of mining leave and leave for employees of a coal preparation plant, and to cover current production losses of a company. The draft also allows for the financing of the repair of mining damages incurred in the course of mine liquidation from the budget subsidy. Due to the amendments, the draft was referred back to the committee for consideration.

The Sejm has also begun work on a so-called Small Law on Innovation. In the government's draft act on amendments to certain acts defining the conditions for conducting innovative activity, the applicant proposes to introduce a coherent system of instruments that reward and encourage innovative activity. These include tax incentives, including, for example, the abolition from 1 January 2017 of income tax on intellectual property contributed to a company. The draft also provides for tax deductibility of costs of obtaining a patent by small and medium-sized enterprises.

In addition, the MPs continued in the second reading the work on the government draft amendments to the Law on Food and Nutrition Safety. The proposed amendments are of purely technical and organizational nature. The draft implements Directive (EU) 2015/254 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2015 repealing Council Directive 93/5/EEC on assistance to the Commission and cooperation by the Member States in the scientific examination of questions relating to food.

The second reading of the government's draft amendment to the law on revenues of local government units is the next item of today's session of the Sejm. The draft extends for the years 2017-2019 the existing provisions of the correction and equalization system for provincial governments, designed to compensate for differences in income through a system of subsidies. This concerns the rules for calculating the so-called Janosikowego - funds transferred by richer voivodeships for the benefit of poorer ones. According to the government, it is necessary to extend the term of these rules.

The MPs have also started work on the government draft amendment to the Act on Gambling and Certain Other Acts. Its objective is to reduce the "grey market" in the area of gambling, especially on slot machines and in the Internet. The new regulations are also to contribute to greater protection of players, including minors, against negative consequences of gambling and increase tax revenues from legal gambling.

The MPs also dealt with the government draft law on counteracting unfair exploitation of contractual advantage in trade of agricultural and food products in the first reading. The proposed regulations are to eliminate unfair trade practices between buyers and producers of agricultural and food products at each stage of the supply chain. The aim is to counteract unfair practices such as supermarkets forcing food suppliers to lower prices for the products they sell and imposing additional charges.

In the first reading the Sejm worked on a government bill amending the Act on the Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture and the Act on Personal Income Tax. The proposed amendment provides, inter alia, for increasing from PLN 15,000 to PLN 40,000 the amount above which the consent of the Minister of Finance will be required for the redemption of debts.

The first reading of the civic bill amending the Act on revenues of local government units and certain other acts is the next item of today's session. The bill contains a proposal to amend the rules for financing the salaries of teachers working in schools, kindergartens and other educational institutions run by local government units. The proposers are proposing that the money for teachers' salaries together with derivatives, allowances for the social fund, rural allowance and improvement fund should be guaranteed by the state in the budget and transferred to local governments in the form of a targeted subsidy, and not, as it has been so far, in the form of an educational subsidy. Local governments would not be able to spend these funds on anything other than teachers' salaries.

The deputies also got acquainted with the report on the activities of the Supreme Chamber of Control in 2015. The Supreme Audit Chamber carried out 117 scheduled audits, including the audit of the state budget execution in 2014, at the administrators of 111 parts of the state budget and at the units directly using public funds. The Chamber conducted in 2015. 144 ad hoc audits and examined over 7.5 thousand complaints. NIK conducted 2.5 thousand unit inspections in almost 2 thousand entities, formulated 87 de lege ferenda motions signalling to the relevant authorities the need to change the law, and filed 126 notices on the possibility of committing crimes or offences. The State Control Committee considered the report together with the opinions of the other parliamentary committees and adopted an opinion for the Presidium of the Sejm recommending that the report not be adopted. The document was presented by NIK President Krzysztof Kwiatkowski and the committee's motion was presented by MP Tadeusz Dziuba. In the discussion a motion was put forward not to adopt the report.



Parliamentary committees

Law and Justice



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