World Bulletin/News Desk
A social security reform package -- the Social Security and General Health Law -- was passed in Parliament to become law early Wednesday, dropping the requirement for foreigners who have obtained a residence permit of more than one year to be included in a general health insurance system.
Foreigners who have longer residence permits have now an option to stay out of the general health care system.
The package is also called a “omnibus bill,” a term commonly used in Parliament to describe a package of unrelated revisions to laws that are lumped together for the purpose of fast tracking legislative changes.
Every Turkish citizen will benefit from a general health insurance without any conditions until they reach 18 years of age. In addition, foreign students studying in Turkey will be registered in a general health insurance system if they make a required application within the six months they move to the country. These students will be obliged to pay a certain amount to the health insurance system.
One of the most important laws included in the package is the “wealth amnesty” law, which government officials hope will lure back funds from abroad.
Under the legislation, Turks will pay just 2 percent on eligible funds, avoiding taxes that could otherwise reach 30-40 percent. They will also avoid an investigation into whether the wealth was generated in Turkey and improperly kept overseas.
In order to benefit from the amnesty, Turkish individuals or companies will be obliged to declare their wealth before the end of July.
Turkey last used such a program in 2009 to help mitigate the effects of the global financial crisis, drawing backing about 50 billion lira ($28 billion at current exchange rates).
Turkey was Europe's fastest-growing economy in 2011, expanding 8.5 percent, but growth slowed sharply to 2.2 percent last year and the government is keen to see a recovery ahead of an election cycle beginning next year.
The law also includes some regulations concerning real estate belonging to the General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises.
In addition, the law foresees making extra payments to academics who work overtime at evening classes at universities.
Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2013, 09:46