ADDIS ABABA – The Council of Ministers on Saturday approved three regulations and referred four other draft proclamations to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR).
The council of ministers made the latest decisions during its 10th regular session chaired by Prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said the first agenda the ministers looked into was a regulation that determines the organization, powers, and functions of the Petroleum and Energy Authority.
The regulation was prepared as per proclamation number 1263/2014 issued by the federal government to re-establish the authority responsible to manage oil and energy issues in Ethiopia.
The regulation was also drawn up to empower the authority with powers and functions to manage the sector, said the PM Office.
After extensive discussion, the council ratified the regulation set to become effective as of its publication date in the Negarit Gazette, an official federal government law Gazette for the publication of all Federal laws.
The council of ministers also delivered on a bill to amend the National Payment System Proclamation.
The PM Office said the amendment was primarily needed to increase payment service providers within the framework of the national reform agenda Ethiopia has embarked on while enhancing the effectiveness, reliability, and competitiveness of the payment system.
The amendment has also taken the recent developments and improvements made in the sector at the international level into account.
Following a discussion and adding inputs, the draft proclamation has been referred to the lower house of parliament for ratification.
The council then discussed bills prepared for approval of two loans – €10 mln from Italy to fund the sustainable development goals project for the health sector and $400 mln from the International Development Association to implement a program to strengthen the food system.
The loans are said to have a 12-year grace period and will be paid in 38 years.
The PM Office said the council has made sure that the loans are compatible with the country’s credit policy, before referring the bills to the House of People’s Representatives for approval.
During Saturday’s session, the council of ministers also discussed the draft bill to amend the Federal Income Tax Regulation.
The amended regulation exempts the income tax from new shares sold to raise additional capital for firms whose operations have weakened due to lack of capital.
As per the Income Tax Proclamation No. 979/2008, the Council of Ministers can exempt an income from tax-based when it is believed that there are economic, administrative, or social reasons.
Therefore, the council approved the regulation which will become effective as of the date of its publication in the Negarit Gazette.
The Council of Ministers also discussed and approved a draft regulation to levy social development tax on “limited imported goods”.
The revenue collected from this tax would be used to support institutions that provide social services to the public. The regulation will become effective as of its publication in the Negarit Gazette.
Finally, the council deliberated on the draft bill to amend the Public-Private Partnership Proclamation and referred it to the lower house of the parliament.