Секции
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"HOME PC" INITIATIVE OF BAIT

The Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies,
 
Having regard of:
          - The Strategy, adopted by the European Council in Lisbon in 2000, to make the European Union the most dynamically developing region in the world on the basis of the development of information and communication technology (ICT) by 2010;
          - The official documents (Final Declaration and Action Plan), adopted in Geneva on 12 December 2003 during the First World Summit on the Information Society by representatives of over 180 states, which envisage that by 2015 even the smallest African village should be connected to the Internet;
          - The strong institutional, expert, organizational and information support that BAIT receives from the biggest European Association EICTA (European Information and Communications Technology Industry Association);         
          - The “Strategy and Action Plan on Bulgaria’s Competitiveness on the Global ICT Markets”, adopted jointly by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the business in the country in January 2004;
          - The Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria for Transition to the Information Society, approved by the Government;
          - The Bulgarian E-Government Strategy, approved by the Government;
          - The elevation of the information and communication technology sector to a priority sector on a national level due to its key significance for the development of the industry and of the social relations as a whole;
          - The centuries long deep respect of the Bulgarian society and family for education in particular;
          - The results of the first specialized statistical research on the use of information technologies in the households in Bulgaria, consistent with the methodological requirements of Eurostat and conducted by the Regional Statistical Office, according to which as of 1st July 2003 Bulgaria occupied one of the last positions in Europe with 6,8% of the population having a desktop personal computer at home and 5,2% of it having Internet access from their homes;
          - The political will expressed repeatedly by all Bulgarian governments, including the one currently in office, to stimulate and boost the creative energy of the nation with the aim of joining in the achievements of the other peoples and cultures in a befitting manner;
 
Whereas:
          - the consequences of the growing process of globalization on a world scale, inevitably affecting each society and manifested, in particular, in the elimination of many barriers and boundaries, that have existed so far, and in the free movement of persons, goods, ideas, capitals, and, parallel with that, the increased significance of the adequate information and good education for each individual;
          - the pressing need for an accelerated introduction of high-tech solutions for the purpose of attaining a higher degree of internal organization of society and enhancing its competitiveness in the situation of the emerging new division of labour on the world market;
          - the extremely low percentage of transactions involving computer systems for domestic use in the country, for which invoices are issued and VAT is accrued;
          - the ammassed experience of the EU member-states and the acceding countries in successfully creating powerful incentives for the development of the information and communication infrastructure, as well as of highly educated specialists in the ICT area;
 
In its desire:
-         to see every Bulgarian household equipped with a computer that is owned and used by it and provided with Internet access;
-         to support the successful implementation of the national strategies and plans for a transition to an information society and the maximum speed at which the e-government is introduced in the public relations in the country;
-         to be a generator of specific ideas of public significance, which are sector-related, yet beneficial for a large portion of the society and contributing to its development;
-         to shoulder its responsibility as the biggest and most influential association in the ICT sector in the country, in coordination with the government and the other partners involved in the implementation of this large-scale project, to help create real conditions, prior to Bulgaria’s accession to EU membership, for the predominant part of the Bulgarian population to use the internet and the e-services by conducting specific initiatives that are conceptually related to the project and supported by resources;
-        to contribute to the creation of conditions for the elimination of unfair competition in the information and communication technology sector.
 
MAKES the following PROPOSALS for stepping up the process of purchasing and using personal computers, internet and e-services by the households in the country:
The state should take over the leading role in supporting the “Computer at Home” programme, which can be implemented by granting tax breaks to individuals, who have purchased and have been using:
1. a computer system (a computer, a display, a keyboard unit, a scanner, a mouse, a modem, a printer, software)
2. internet, and
3. electronic signature.
BAIT suggests that the tax reliefs should consist in deducting the price of the purchased computer system and of the used internet and electronic signature services from the taxable income of all tax liable individuals up to a certain amount during the respective year, before income taxation. The deduction should take place after producing an invoice including VAT and a document that a payment has been made.
Such tax reliefs will result in a multifaceted effect:
1. The state will receive a considerable part of the value of the tax relief, which will be used by the buyer (VAT, profit tax, customs levies, social and health insurance contributions that have not been obtained so far).
2. The issuance of tax invoices has to do with regular account keeping, which entails the necessity that the trader should also be able to prove the origin of the goods sold. This presupposes duly completed customs declarations for the commodities and payment of the customs levies due into the State Budget.
3. The straight and impeccable conduct of the traders in the information technology sector is encouraged and statutory prerequisites are created for surmounting the unfair competition.
4. The tax relief will act as an incentive for traders registered for VAT to buy computer systems. This is so because due to the tax break in reality the buyer will be able to gat back an amount larger than the VAT paid by him. 
5. The buyer can rely that he has legally purchased quality goods with ensured warranty and post warranty support.
6. Incentives and conditions are provided for easier use (from one’s home) of a maximum number of administrative and business e-services, for obtaining the required information and for establishing and maintaining contacts with individuals and with central government and municipal institutions. 
7. E-learning will become accessible to all, the range of topics will be extended, there will be no spatial, temporal or age limitations.
 
The existence of a computer and internet connection at every Bulgarian home is of strategic importance for each citizen and for the Bulgarian society as a whole, as they will make us competitive in the future European and global division of labour due to the enormous capacity for access to information and to the growing number of e-services. This will save public time, energy and funds – national resources that we stand in great need of in order to reach the development level of the advanced societies, where internet and e-services constitute a daily need and an indispensable part of the life of each individual.