Albania

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Besnik Duraj For more than two decades, the Albanian electricity power sector has been facing critical financial and operational problems, as a result of a number of issues and ensuing chain reactions. The most characteristic example is end consumers who do not pay the power distributors, who in turn do not pay the transmission operators, and so forth up to the power producing companies. With the entire electricity power system in a debt downward spiral, a major objective of the Albanian Government for 2015 is the reformation of the power sector by drafting a new bill. The new draft bill was approved during the Council of Ministers meeting on January 14 2015 and sent to the Parliament for debate and approval. Apart from financial goals, the said bill aims at fulfilling Albania's obligations in the context of the Energy Community Treaty. It seeks to harmonise the local power sector legislation with EU directives and rules, with a particular focus on the Third Energy Package for gas and electricity markets.
Ekflodia Leskaj The Government of Albania has issued the final version of the draft law on value-added tax (VAT). According to the Minister of Finance, once approved by the Parliament, the new VAT law is expected to enter into force on January 1 2015 and replace the existing law on VAT, as well as all respective regulations. The draft law has been prepared with the support of the EU, setting as its principal aim the harmonisation of legislation on VAT with the acquis communautaire, in compliance with the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. One of the main intentions of the draft law is to remove double VAT taxation for transactions between Albanian and foreign businesses located in any EU member state (according to the destination principle).
EBRD's Gian Piero Cigna analyses the results of a study which reveals that regulators in transition countries must reassess their regimes to permit boards to operate independently
Besnik Duraj The new Albanian government, formed after the 2013 general elections, has already fulfilled one of its election promises: the reform of the Albanian tax system from flat tax to tiered rates. Significant amendments have been introduced in the national laws on income tax, national taxes, tax procedures, excise, local taxes, value-added tax, the hydrocarbon tax system, and health contributions. The most important changes as of January 1 2014 are briefly presented below.
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