Economic Policy Review ISSN 1313 - 0544

Regulation

29.01.2007
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Negative outcomes:

1. Although the BULSTAT Act, which introduced the use of just one company identification number, has come into power, most of the legal persons are still obliged to provide tax, security and customs number. The software in various state and municipal bodies still works in accordance with the pre-adoption principles; the forms that have to be filled out require in most cases all three (or four) numbers even for newly registered companies;

2. Moving the company registration from court to the Registry Agency within the Ministry of Justice will not be completed at least until January 07 or even October 07, so the latest Cabinet press release. The very final deadline for turning the company registration from a legal into an administrative procedure was previously set by the government by October 06;

3. According to the newly adopted Trade Registry Act, fees are to be paid for providing the information, as well as for the access to information itself;
4. An Administrative-procedural code passed the parliament and thus a “silence is refusal” principle was introduced.

5. Amendments in the Telecommunication Law put all cable operators under the obligation to dig their cables under the ground where the population exceeds 3 000 inhabitants; A conducted study by the Institute for Market Economics showed that the costs for the society caused by this particular regulation go far beyond the potential benefits;

6. The absolute number of notaries, as well as their location is limited by law – one notary for each 10 000 inhabitants;

7. The prices for their services, which according to mere market logic are supposed to be freely negotiable, are administratively set instead – by decree of the Council of Ministers;

8. Advertising notary services is prohibited by law;

9. Amendments in the Law on National Enlightenment (it is kind of strange that something like that still exists as a norm) introduced for every child under school age one-year-duty visiting a kindergarten;

10. The extent, to which the state intervenes into production and trade of tobacco goods has not changed over the period; that is probably the roughest direct interference into an economic activity, which even allows certain officials to control a wide area of personal decisions like voting;

11. The Council of Ministers is still in charge of controlling the prices of cigarettes produced in Bulgaria as well as the imported ones.

12. Price floors – geodesists

13. Architects:

Index of regulation in the field of liberal professions – Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna

Architects

Engineers

Germany

4.5

7.4

Austria

5.1

5

Italy

6.2

6.4

Finland

1.4

1.3

The Netherlands

0

1.5

Sweden

0

0

Ireland

0

0

UK

0

0

Source: Economic impact of regulation in the field of liberal professions in different Member States - http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/lib/eb1-executive_summary.pdf

14. According to the Index of Economic Freedom of the World (The Fraser Institute, Canada), the government interference into the labor market in Bulgaria has not dropped over the past year;

15. According to the annual Doing Business Report of the World Bank, Bulgaria ranks on the 62nd place; Even worse is the situation in the following fields:

· Starting a business – 80th place;
· Licensing – 118th place;
· Labor market regulations – 90th place;

16. According to the Index of Economic Freedom (composed by The Heritage Foundation / Wall Street Journal) the overall situation in Bulgaria has generally worsened over the last year; especially unfavorable is the evaluation of the indicator “government interference in the economy” (4 for Bulgaria out of five, where 5 is worst);

Positive outcomes:

1. On 10.08.05 ?., the BULSTAT Act came into power; Newly registered companies obtain just one identification number (BULSTAT), instead of three (tax, social security and customs);

2. Steps have been made toward liberalization of the drug market; One can now own an drug-store without being an educated dispenser;

3. According to the Index of Economic Freedom (The Fraser Institute) a positive tendency has been registered in business regulations in terms of less burdens for starting businesses;

4. A Trade Registry Act passed the parliament; it introduces better practices in the field of company registration and access to public information.