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Sejm. Law and Justice wants changes regarding pharmacies. Controversial PiS amendment to the act on KUKE, entrepreneurs sound the alarm

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On Tuesday, the Sejm’s public finance and economy and development committees adopted a draft act on export insurance guaranteed by the State Treasury. The amendment of Law and Justice regarding the pharmacy market aroused controversy. “An amendment having nothing to do with the subject of the regulation was submitted, tightening the regulations on the pharmacy market and posing a threat of mass expropriations,” wrote Jakub Bińkowski, member of the board and director of the Law and Legislation Department of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers in social media.

During the first reading of the draft amendment to the Act on Export Insurance Guaranteed by the State Treasury, MPs from the Joint Public Finance, Economy and Development Committees adopted it with seven amendments. project, among others expands the catalog of insurance offered by Korporacja Ubezpieczeń Kredytów Eksportowych (KUKE) and enables more companies to use its services. They will be supported by public and private entities that conclude contracts or make investments related to the energy transformation in Poland.

The new provisions are to enter into force 14 days after the publication in the Journal of Laws, with some of them coming into force on the day following the publication.

Controversial amendment of Law and Justice

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The amendment proposed by PiS MP Adam Gawęda aroused the most emotions adding an article to the draft act on KUKE increasing anti-concentration control in pharmacy chains. MP Dariusz Rosatii called the amendment a “throw in”, indicating that the Civic Coalition would not support the bill.

Employers’ organizations are also alarming about the consequences of the PiS amendment.

Arkadiusz Pączka, vice-chairman of the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs, posted a photo of some of the planned amendments. He noted that the proposed changes provide for new penalties from 50,000 PLN to even PLN 5 million. They are intended to threaten entities that, contrary to the ban, take control of an entity running a public pharmacy.

Jakub Bińkowski, member of the board and director of the Law and Legislation Department of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers, wrote about “a complete circus”. As he explained, “an amendment having nothing to do with the subject of the regulation has been submitted to the draft, tightening the provisions on the pharmacy market and posing a threat of mass expropriation”.

“If it is passed – it will be the absolute top of stupid and harmful pranks in the field of the legislative process in this term of office. And this is just with the act that everyone assessed positively. Unimaginable” – assessed Bińkowski.

Marcin Nowacki, vice-president of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers, assessed that there is a lack of legal certainty in Poland. “We are surprised that companies do not invest. The lack of legal certainty and extreme abuses in the legislative process do not allow for normal functioning” – we read in his entry.

Maciej Witucki, president of the Lewiatan Confederation, wrote about “another scandalous abuse of legislative procedures”. “Such situations destroy business confidence in the state and directly affect the appetite for investment. And this particular insertion is a potential catastrophe for the Polish pharmacy market” – he added.

Draft act on KUKE

As stated in the explanatory memorandum to the draft, its primary objective “is the need to prepare legislative solutions which are to serve to create the possibility of local intervention for the Polish state in the event of extraordinary economic situations”. It was added that an equivalent goal is “to create a legal framework to support projects that serve the energy transformation of Poland, consisting in particular in the gradual reduction of energy intensity of the economy”.

Waldemar Buda was quoted on the twitter account of the Ministry of Development and Technology. In his opinion: “This is a broad, comprehensive amendment that responds to the situation we are in – both resulting from the consequences of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. @KUKE_pl receives new competences and opportunities to act by covering reinsurance and insurance risk also in this activity which had hitherto been excluded from him.

Pursuant to the draft provisions, KUKE will be able to extend its offer by insurance of the return of the advance payment, which was paid by the policyholder on account of the import delivery from the country by the so-called non-market risk. KUKE insurance will be able to cover – on a par with Polish companies – also Polish branches of foreign entrepreneurs. This is to contribute to “increasing the security of foreign transactions of these entities and thus affect their development.” It was assessed that the proposed solution will enable the creation of new jobs in Poland “and will ultimately increase revenues to the state budget, including from social security contributions”.

The draft amendment also assumes that KUKE will be able to insure companies operating in Ukraine. Until now, KUKE has not been able to insure companies operating in this country due to risk analysis; the provisions that went to the lower house assume a reduction in the level of risk due to an important state interest.

Deputy Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy Jadwiga Emilewicz pointed out that after the entry into force of the regulations, KUKE will be the first corporation in Europe to insure transactions in Ukraine.

KUKE will also be able to insure foreign companies on the condition of “local content”, i.e. ordering some services or goods from Polish companies.

Main photo source: MRiT/twitter

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