TODAY’S – Taraf: Regulation change aims to provide benefits to pro-gov’t firms

Taraf: Regulation change aims to provide benefits to pro-gov’t firmsThe government has paved the way to allow pro-government businesses and institutions to rent Treasury-owned real estate for much lower rates, the Taraf daily reported on Thursday.An amendment to the relevant regulations on Sept.

21 removed the lower limit on the letting value, which was at least 1 percent of the real estate tax base. The new scheme introduced a new method in calculating the rates, stating that they should be between 2 to 4 percent of the market value of the real estate.

According to the Taraf daily, this change in the valuation process will yield drops of up to 30 percent of the Treasuryand#39s rental revenues. Additionally, it may be exploited to provide benefits for pro-government businesses and foundations with close ties to the government.

After the change in the regulations a month ago, the Finance Ministry ordered the General Directorate of National Property (Milli Emlak) to undertake study to reassess the rental values of the Treasuryand#39s properties across Turkey.However, the Treasury will be authorized to determine the properties for which rent will be lowered, said Taraf.

The daily added that this raises concerns that companies with close ties to the government will be favored while the most extreme rates will be applied to properties being rented to companies known to be owned by businessmen critical of the government.The Taraf daily recalled some of the legally wiretapped audio conversations included in the investigation files of the Dec.

17 corruption scandal in which some bureaucrats and businessmen talked about renting Treasury properties to pro-government companies and foundations at much lower rates. Istanbul Todayand#39s Zama.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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