Draft law on electronic communications foresees mobile number portability; Anti-monopoly office takes more action on building & loans; Gov't to issue 20bn crown bond issue; Education Minister to push for tax incentives for donors to universities.
The Cabinet approved a draft law this week on electronic communications that would require number portability for mobile phones as of January 2005 and oblige cell phone operators to make it possible for customers to switch from one operator to another within six months. The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, said a privatisation committee for fixed-line operator Cesky Telekom would be formed this September.
The anti-monopoly office has ordered the Czech Republic's six building and loans to roll back their fees to the 1999 level. The move — which could cost the institutions about 1.4 billion this year — stems from the office's finding that the building and loans colluded on prices. The anti-monopoly office last week imposed a record high fine of 484 million crowns on the institutions.
The government will issue bonds worth 20 billion crowns in the fourth quarter of this year, 12 billion crowns less than this quarter, according to the Finance Ministry bond auction calendar published Wednesday. The bonds will be used mainly to finance the state budget deficit, which is predicted to increase to 40.5 percent of GDP by year's end.
Education Minister Petra Buzkova has said she will push for legislation that would allow tax breaks to companies that provide support to universities. Incentives could come in the form of write-offs on donations. She said the legislation could take effect within 12 to 18 months.
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