TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has presented parliament with a bill which will give amnesty for industrial, financial and economic crimes.
A few days ago, the president spoke about the importance of announcing a financial amnesty to attract new investments.
There are reports that the previous government made illegal deals with business, offering them tax breaks in return for bribes. Now, there is a suspicion that those business people who were close to the previous government have large amounts of tax debt.
The Prosecutor’s Office is studying specific cases of such deals, and there is a suspicion that the real reason behind the president’s initiative is that he wants to prevent these cases from being investigated.
President Saakashvili suggests decriminalizing economic crime and to prohibit custodial sentence for such crime.
The parties now in government have many times suggested the same, but Saakashvili’s government never considered it.
On Wednesday, the president presented a bill which will give amnesty for crimes committed in industrial activity, but this will not apply to persons who made money on drug dealing, illegal weapons trading, terrorism, trafficking and other transnational crimes. It will also not apply to officials who have committed such crimes.
According to bill, those who are eligible under the provision of the bill will be released of punishment.
The president’s initiative defines the rules for declaration and legalization of undeclared tax liabilities and hidden income/property.
The government and parliamentary majority still haven’t commented on this issue.