Parliament begins 2018 budget discussions today

Parliament begins 2018 budget discussions today

Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee is starting 2018 budget negotiations today. Throughout the week, the committee will discuss the budget proposals from Parliament, the Prime Ministry, the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Following the talks in the committee, which are expected to last one month, the budget is expected to be submitted to Parliament for negotiations.

Meanwhile, Parliament will discuss an omnibus bill with 127 clauses, which is expected to be agreed on in five plenary sessions. The omnibus bill envisages amendments to tax items, particularly income tax and motor vehicle tax. While working on the omnibus bill, deputies are expected to work Friday and next Monday in plenary sessions, as well as the regular meeting days from Tuesday to Thursday.

Parliament also will hold talks about a draft bill regarding the establishment of the Halal Accreditation Institution (HAK) in one of the plenary sessions. If enacted, the institution will be the legal entity to provide accreditation to institutions and adjust restrictions and measures to be taken regarding halal accreditation. According to the draft bill, the institution would be able to open foreign offices and staff 50 people at the outset. The foreign offices would open following a Cabinet decision.In the busy schedule, the election of a new speaker is also on Parliament's agenda. The election period for Parliament speaker will begin next week. Reportedly, İsmail Kahraman, who has been Parliament speaker for two years, wants to be re-elected to the position. Alongside İsmail Kahraman, Faruk Çelik, Nabi Avcı, Mustafa Elitaş, Ahmet Davutoğlu and Burhan Kuzu have been mentioned as candidates for Parliament speaker in lobbies. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to hold consultations with Justice and Development Party (AK Party) authorities and deputies to finalize their candidate for Parliament speaker.

AK Party Deputy Group Chairmen and Commission heads are also expected to be altered as part of the AK Party's rejuvenation process. Reportedly, it is expected that the AK Party will change the majority of its commission heads and make a small change in the group chairmen.

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