Turkish opposition parties criticise economic bill as too business-friendly

An omnibus economic bill submitted to Turkish parliament by ruling party officials last week is facing harsh criticism from opposition parties, which see it as overly considerate of business interests, news outlet Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.

The proposed law gives qualifying companies two years to apply for debt-restructuring and extends the cash repatriation law, exempting private and corporate entities from taxes and inquiries on the sources of their foreign funding, until Dec. 31.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said the bill focuses on saving a few businesses rather than solving Turkey's economic downturn as a whole. “The goal should be saving Turkey's economy in which companies are included, not saving a couple of companies," Gazete Duvar quoted CHP as saying.

The Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) criticised the lack of benefits for employees and the government's focus on businesses, according to Gazete Duvar.

"For the many laws that have been issued so far, so to speak, the bosses are given nothing but a massage," HDP said.

The omnibus bill also aims to tap the central bank’s 40 billion lira ($6.6 billion) in legal reserves, a move opposition leaders believe could lead to the unrestrained printing of money and the government clearing out the bank’s vaults, according to the news site.

"Seizing the legal reserves (of the central bank) by the AKP with the legalisation of the bill will be no different than the printing of money. This means a surge of inflation and adding fuel to the flames,” Gazete Duvar quoted HDP as saying.

The bill will be discussed within the general assembly of parliament before becoming legal.