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Sectoral draft laws should be prepared in a dialog with business

The preparation and adoption of new laws, the implementation of which may significantly affect the economic situation in the country, should be based on social dialogue. This need is especially important in times of significant changes in the country caused by internal or external factors.

The legal framework for interaction between the government, the public and business for such a dialogue was formed many years ago. In particular, the Law of Ukraine "On Social Dialogue" was adopted in 2010, as well as the CMU Resolution "On Ensuring Public Participation in the Formation and Implementation of State Policy." These legal acts define the framework and procedure for interaction between the government, the public, and business in the process of formulating public policy and drafting laws and other regulatory documents.

Unfortunately, the authorities periodically ignore the requirements of the law to involve the public in discussing draft legal acts. This was the case with the draft law No. 9256-d, which was developed without a dialogue with legal gambling companies and specialized public unions, in particular, the Ukrainian Gambling Council.

As the chairman of the UGC already noted in his statement, it has unfortunately become the norm for the head of the Committee on Taxation, Customs and Financial Policy to draft gambling laws without a dialogue with legal gambling organizers. For some reason, someone always decides that they know more than the real sector of the economy. But all of this is done for a reason: it is clear that the head of the Committee is lobbying for the interests of the lottery business, which are that lottery operators need to close the white gambling market in order to deal with their black gambling market.

However, the Committee ignores not only the position of gambling companies, as the provisions of the draft law affect the interests of other sectors of the economy as well. There was no communication with the media business or sports associations either, because the legislative changes to the terms and conditions of advertising also affect them. At least, I am not aware of such facts.

It seems that the draft law was prepared behind closed doors not for the purpose of improving the situation in the Ukrainian gambling industry. First of all, such secrecy in the process of drafting the law No. 9256-d raises questions about its real focus and possible corruption potential. Why this question? Because, for example, the implementation of a number of provisions of the draft law violates the Constitutional provision that the state is the guarantor of equal opportunities for the development of competitiveness in business. Such a violation is also the basis for a number of possible corrupt practices and a fundamental point for deepening the shadowing of the gambling market.

I would like to remind you that UGC has already addressed an official letter to the NACP regarding the need to conduct a thorough anti-corruption examination of a number of provisions of the draft law, in particular, those amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Advertising" that effectively deprive all legal gambling organizers of the right to advertise their services, equate sponsorship with advertising, that is, force advertisers to either stop advertising their services (which would mean the termination of business activities) or go "underground".

To avoid such a choice, sectoral bills should be prepared in a dialogue with business and be submitted to the Verkhovna Rada only after all the critical issues have been agreed upon. Parliament should promote the development of legal business, not the black market.



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