Finance Minister: NGOs hinder fight with the shadow economy

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Due to objections by NGOs, law amendments that would allow extracting about €30m from the shadow economy have not been enacted, said Finance Minister Jānis Reirs (Unity) in an interview to Latvian Television on Monday.


He said that, even though fighting the shadow economy is a priority of the Finance Ministry, the process is seeing interference by NGOs, which object to law amendments. In the previous bill for the budget, about half of the proposals of the ministry were rejected.

"We put €60m in the budget [that would be there] from fighting the shadow economy, but we can't get about €30m as the amendments weren't enacted," said Reirs.

As an example, he referred to the fact that the regulations for use of cash registers haven't been concluded since 2011, as an agreement can't be made with the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other NGOs.

"To ask for a serious fight against the shadow economy without enacting the appropriate amendments, it's like saying - go and catch a fish, but we won't give you a fishing rod," said Reirs.

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