During the presentation of the draft budget to the parliamentary committees, the Minister of Finance, Ervin Mete, said that the current law on strategic investments, so strongly contested, will be repealed and replaced with another law for which the ministry is working.
Minister Mete did not give a deadline, while the law on strategic investments expires on December 31 of this year. However, a draft law submitted for consultation by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, directed by Belinda Balluku, suggests that this law can be extended in the last sessions of the Assembly for this year, as has happened since 2018, when it has been extended continuously .
Conceived as a temporary law in 2015, the law on strategic investments has been criticized as the mechanism through which state and citizens' properties are being looted, especially in coastal areas.
Through this law, powerful companies and businessmen in the country have benefited from the status of strategic investors and secured permission for the construction of resorts, buildings, hotels and even yacht ports from the National Council of the Territory.
This law, but also the other interventions of the socialists over the years in the law on VAT, on expropriations, taxes and infrastructure guaranteed a more than strategic status to strategic investors. This privilege, according to the new proposal of the Ministry of Infrastructure, can be expanded.
The draft law submitted for consultation by the ministry led by Belinda Balluku determines the intervention in Article 49 of the law and the inclusion in it of the provision of accelerated procedures for building permits for strategic investors.
However, the shortening of the deadlines for securing building permits does not guarantee time for strategic investors to secure these permits within this year, when the term of the law for strategic investors also expires. This suggests that the socialists are preparing for the fourth postponement of the deadline of this law with the justification given since 2018, 'that the Ministry of Finance is working on a new law'.
Under threat from these changes, it is not only that part of the coast that remains unoccupied by the strategics. Protected areas and national parks are also under threat, if the proposal of 12 socialist deputies to intervene in the law on protected areas by opening the way for constructions is approved in the Assembly.
The 12 deputies in question argue these proposals with the lack of releasing the full economic potential for local communities in these areas. But how much local communities have benefited from strategic investments so far... the balance is known.
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