Belarus changes tax, criminal codes, law on mass media

Belarus changes tax, criminal codes, law on mass media

The draft law on the national budget for 2015 has been adopted by Belarusian MPs in the second reading. 

Traditionally, the main financial document of the country retains social orientation. It aims to reduce external debt and increase the salaries of state employees. 

In 2015, the country expects to earn more than Br156 trillion.

In 2015, the budget will have its own peculiarities: emphasis will be made on supporting young families. Plans have been also made to renovate the country's road network.

However, not only money was the in the limelight at the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament on December 17.

The MPs also discussed amendments to laws on domestic and foreign policy, border security and navigation.

New figures will be in the Tax Code from 2015. Income tax in 2015 will grow by 1%, to 13%. This means that every Belarusian employee will transfer $100 to the state coffers.

Alexander Myakinnik, deputy chairman of the Committee on Budget and Finance of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus:
The money will be used to support families with children. This is family capital. For these purposes, from Br2.6 to Br3.1 trillion rubles will be allocated.

The media law was also amended. Now it includes provisions spelling out what information is prohibited from being spread. For example, propaganda of war or extremist activities.

After two warnings, the media outlet can be excluded from the state register. In fact, it means stop of the operation of such media.

It is impossible to register all sources of information on the Internet. But, according to the information minister, Internet media should be responsible for the content they publish.

Lilia Ananich, Minister of Information of the Republic of Belarus:
De facto, a number of web portals can be considered mass media. I would like them to have the same rights and responsibilities as all other media. 

MPs approved amendments to the Criminal Code in the second reading. The deputies considered the proposal concerning pre-trial agreement. Capital punishment may not be applied to those who have signed and fully executed such an agreement. 

Thus the person who committed premeditated murder with aggravating circumstances, may not be sentenced to death. Instead, he will serve a life sentence in prison.

If approved by the upper house of the Parliament and the President, the changes will come into force in 2015.