Final Word from Monday, September 29, 2003

MPs rejected a passage in the income-tax bill on Fri. for restricting dividend payments by investors getting incentives. The episode has called increased attention to the successes of foreign investors, who have become a tempting target for a government desperate for revenue. Another tempting target is CzechInvest, which has angered other government agencies by becoming too influential. The Statistical Office has already released a report saying foreign investors haven't done much to help Czech competitiveness and have come mainly for the easy money. CzechInvest and other interested parties will need to show that much of the repatriated profit would never have been earned by anyone without foreign investment. Manufacturers who export most of their goods won't have trouble doing this. It'll be more difficult for the banks and mobile-phone operators. Parliament


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