ZAGREB, March 17 (Hina) – Parliament will on Wednesday debate a government-sponsored set of about 20 bills which are designed to assist businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including a law giving the National Civil Protection Authority more powers.
The package of laws will be sent to parliamentary procedure late Tuesday afternoon following a cabinet meeting.
The National Civil Protection Authority will be given more powers so that decision-making will be centralised at the state level and local civil protection authorities will no longer impose decisions of their own accord.
“We will have to make decisions at the state level, they have to be quick so that they can be implemented immediately,” said Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic who is at the helm of the national authority.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic added that people at the county level will continue to have an important role but that they will have to abide by decisions and assessments made by the national authority.
In an effort to buffer the consequences of the pandemic on the economy, the government has proposed concrete measures that have been put on fast track in parliament.
Government measures are primarily designed for the private sector.
“In the circumstances of crisis we can defer taxation payments, profit tax, income tax and contributions on pension and health insurance – to relieve them (the private sector) of costs. That will also facilitate cash flow, working capital, loan rescheduling, agreements with banks, the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) and commercial banks,” said Plenkovic.
One of the possibilities for assistance to enterprises, employers is that government will provide an amount equal to the minimum wage (HRK 3,250) while employers will make up the difference in a workers’ wage.
Parliament is expected to adopt the package of about 20 laws by Thursday at the latest.
Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, parliament will continue sitting with the introduction of special protective measures.