Democratic Party Chairman Lulzim Basha presented today the business and anti-corruption program, with the ambitious aim of putting Albania among the thirty best countries to do business.
"Our goal is to put Albania among the thirty best countries to do business. We will impose a one-year moratorium, during which fines from local or central bodies for businesses will be banned and the inspection system will be completely reformed”, said the Democrat chief.
I am pleased that in this presentation, one of the well-known professors of the Faculty of Economics opens it. Such are the majority of those present in this room according to anti-COVID measures and hundreds of others who have joined us through the zoom link or other applications, one of the best experts in Albania, some foreign experts who have helped us as well, whom I want to thank from the bottom of my heart for the extraordinary work they have done for almost a year and a half.
Dear Albanian citizens! We have been presenting the work plans we have drafted after weeks of discussions and debates, with specialists, experts, interest groups. They are work plans, well thought out, studied. There are no empty promises. They are prepared in detail and are ready to be implemented as soon as we win the election. A prime minister who does not keep his commitments before the citizens has no right to seek another term. This is my commitment to you.
Following the unveiling of our Albania Wins program, today I have the pleasure to present to you some of the details of our plans to promote and improve the business climate in Albania as well as the plan to fight corruption. Both of these are closely related to each other. The problem with the outgoing prime minister and his government is that they have failed in every area for 8 years. The problem is that the outgoing prime minister and his government are corrupt, that for 8 years they have taken care only of themselves and a handful of friends. The outgoing Prime Minister and his ministers have multiplied their wealth in recent years, while our economy is ruined, while Albanian citizens are impoverished.
Therefore, to return Albania to the path of development and success, for a strong economy, for a country where it is worth doing business, we must first fight corruption.
And these are the main steps:
- Ousting Rama.
- Cracking down on corruption not through campaigns but in a systematic way.
- Turning Albania into a country of development and success for all.
After 8 years of Rama's failure, I am aware that this will not be easy, but we will do it, together! As it was said a little while ago, Albania is ranked 82nd in the world among 190 countries, according to the Doing Business 2020 report. This country is quite low compared to 4 countries in the region: where North Macedonia is 17th, Serbia 44th, Montenegro 50th and Kosovo 57th. Our objective is to include Albania among the 30 best countries for the "Doing Business" report. This is our national goal.
And to accomplish this, we will take the next steps:
Today, Albanian business loses a lot of time, energy, nerves with controls and inspections. Moreover, controls and inspections by central and local authorities are among the main factors that keep corruption alive and aggravate the bill. Today businesses spend valuable working days on these inspections and inspections. We will change that! We will impose a 12-month moratorium, ie 1 whole year, during which fines from local or central bodies for businesses will be banned and the inspection system will be completely reformed.
We will reduce and limit by law the number of inspections and controls on businesses. No more than 10% inspections or controls of businesses will be done during a year. This according to the example and best European practices. We will drastically reduce the current number of all licenses and permits issued today by the state. To this end, we will approve by law a comprehensive list of permits and licenses so that no minister, no other central or local government official can request or add new business requirements.
I am committed to halving the legal deadlines for any permit requiring state decision-making, from 60 days for type A environmental permits to just 30 days and so on. By increasing the transparency, efficiency and accountability of state institutions to citizens, investing in the digitalization of services.
Secondly, we will fight for a market economy where no monopoly or oligopoly rules. The Democratic Party believes that the market economy is the only system that enables the implementation of fundamental human rights and an economy of scale and prosperity in the country. We will focus not only on big business, which is an important factor of the economy but also on small and medium business, which is the engine of the Albanian economy. To over 100,000 self-employed families in these businesses that provide income for their families in these enterprises.
We believe in the middle class and we are convinced that it is the pillar of economic development but also of the democratic stability of a nation. Small and effective governance will be the focus of our attention. Skilled tax managers of every Albanian to get back what they deserve from their contribution to the state budget. A Winning Albania is one where all citizens are equal before the Law just as they are before God. Therefore, we will apply well-known international, judicial practices, to fight not only impunity but also the lack of personal responsibility for the damage done to public property.
But as I mentioned above, to meet these objectives, we must first systematically crackdown on and successfully fight corruption. To this end, we will take these essential steps:
Transparency and Good Management.
Every government decision will be transparent, and every state database will be public. From public tenders to the property register. Total transparency and digitalization will make it possible to eliminate any unnecessary contact with state representatives.
I will publish in the first 100 working days the tax rate for 4 years, for every foreign and domestic business offering fiscal predictability that all these years have been violated on foot and has left hundreds of investors and thousands of jobs.
I will eliminate any discretion and interpretation of laws by officials and ministers by collecting fiscal legislation in a single Tax Code.
I will eliminate any exceptions from the laws, which today have become the rule and have brought corruption in Albania to the level of state capture.
I am committed to setting up the Fiscal Transparency Board, an institution independent of the government, appointed by Parliament, which will monitor the implementation of all fiscal policies and the control of public expenditures that are out of control today.