Ljubljana, 05 March (STA) - The National Assembly passed in a 48-24 vote on Tuesday changes to the small business act, which introduce voluntary membership in the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS). The SocDem-sponsored amendments that would keep obligatory membership were rejected.
According to outgoing Economy Minister Radovan Žerjav, the outgoing government has set in its coalition agreement the goal of abolishing obligatory membership in chambers that decide for that option in a referendum.
OZS members opted for voluntary membership in a referendum in April last year, but the OZS regretted the outcome, saying that the voters had failed to recognise the management's efforts at streamlining the chamber's operations.
Žerjav said nobody had forced the chamber to hold a referendum on the issue and that the former leadership was responsible for the switch.
The changes to the small business act had been coordinated with the OZS management, Žerjav added.
He said it was in everybody's interest for the chamber to continue operation and keep its powers but with non-obligatory membership.
Democrats (SDS) MP Rado Likar said obligatory membership in chambers enables a free ride to those who are collecting funds, while those who are giving them have no influence on the chambers' functioning.
On the other hand, Gašpar Gašpar Mišič of Positive Slovenia (PS) said the changes were misguided and called for a new motion to be drawn up in cooperation with small businesses.