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Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian PM: VAT discount on heating, hotels will remain

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Prime minister Saulius Skvernelis of Lithuania

Value-added tax (VAT) discount for centralized heating and hotels will remain, says Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, adding that the government would announce the proposed tariff next week.

Up until this June, the VAT tariff for heating was 9 percent, a tariff also applies on accommodation services. The government has earlier considered discarding the privileges and start applying the usual 21-percent size. The VAT discount for heating was agreed between the prime minister and the opposition conservatives on the reform of the forestry sector, while the decision to leave the lower tax for hotels was made in light of regional competition and projects that are being developed. The government is discussing a new 15-percent tariff for hotels, however, the information is yet to be confirmed by the prime minister.

Parties still in debt for 2016 general elections

Financial obligations of Lithuania’s political parties that ran for the 2016 general elections have narrowed by a factor of three, however, the total debt remains at an impressive 482,000 euros, Lietuvos Rytas daily wrote, citing data from the Central Electoral Commission. Some 55 independent candidates also still run debts after the political campaign. Immediately after the October elections, the number of indebted candidates was 72, running a total debt of 1.333 million euros. The biggest debt of nearly one million euros was reported by the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, which triumphed in the elections.

HBO project in Lithuania of outstanding volume

The miniseries about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to be filmed in Lithuania by the U.S. HBO television will be the second project of a similar size to be implemented in the Baltic state, says Rolandas Kvietkauskas, CEO of the Lithuanian Film Center. U.S. media has said that the five-episode miniseries Chernobyl would feature Jared Harris known from the Mad Men series as a Soviet scientist assigned by the Kremlin to investigate the tragedy.

Special investigators: corruption reports grow

Lithuanian Special Investigations Service (STT) says it has been receiving growing numbers of reports about corruption, which result in about half of all STT probes. Corruption According to the press release, 1,925 complaints, reports, statements and requests from the poblic were received last year, including about a third of them anonymous. This approximately a third more than in earlier years: 1,509 in 2015 and 1,316 in 2014.

Lithuania to kick off receipt lottery in November

Lithuania will launch the first fiscal receipt lottery this November, with the annual prize fund planned at about 173,000 euros. A weekly game should give an opportunity to win 10 prizes of 200 euros each, with the monthly jackpot totalling at 5,000 euros, the State Tax Inspectorate said on Thursday, July 27. On a special website, people will be able to register fiscal receipts for food, haircutting, repairs and other services, as well as items bought in marketplaces. The lottery will be organized by Algoritmų Sistemos (Algorithm Systems) that has won a competition.

President to leave for Tallinn

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė and her Baltic counterparts will meet with US Vice-President Mike Pence in Tallinn on Monday, July 31, pledging to address US military assistance, cyber security, the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravyets and supplies of US liquefied gas to Europe.

Vilnius street lighting modernization funder to be set

The Vilnius City Council on Wednesday gave a go-ahead to a 21.64-million-euro project to modernize the street lighting network. To implement the project, municipality-controlled company Vilniaus Gatvių Apšvietimo Elektros Tinklai (Vilnius Street Lighting Electricity Network, VGAET) will set a funder by October.

British Airways gives no comment on future flights

After the Vilnius administration on Wednesday, July 26, decided to earmark about 2.1 million euros within the next three years for marketing of flights to one of London’s key airports in hopes of attracting the United Kingdom’s largest airline British Airways, the latter has not given any comments on its plans in this respect.

ESFA to buy 22.5 million worth of food for needy in Lithuania

The European Social Fund Agency has announced a tender for 22.5 million euros worth of 11,000 tons of food products for the needy. The tender has been divided in 170 pieces – 17 different products will be bought in 10 different counties. ESFA is waiting offers from companies until August 21, with the food to be distributed in 2018.

Deputy Justice Minister resigns

Lithuania’s Justice Vice-Minister Donatas Matuiza in charge of the prisons system resigned on Wednesday, July 26, the justice minister’s spokeswoman confirmed. Spokeswoman Rita Grumadaitė would not specify the causes behind Matuiza’s resignation. Matuiza could not be reached on Wednesday, his telephone was off. He served in the position from January of 2017, coordinating the in-house investigation at the Prisons Department and the Kaunas Remand Prison conducted by the Justice Ministry this spring.

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