Council of Ministers discusses bill to amend and supplement Commercial Code to regulate situation of bad cheque users

The Council of Ministers, chaired by Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani, discussed on Thursday at the Kasbah a number of draft laws, including a draft law to revise and supplement certain provisions of the Commercial Code to regulate the situation of those who have been the subject of final court rulings or are the subject of ongoing prosecutions for issuing a bad cheque.

The aim is to strike a balance between protecting the creditor’s financial rights and preserving the debtor’s freedom, according to a statement from the Prime Ministry.

The bill is part of a review of legislation aimed at strengthening the role of the judiciary in boosting the national economy, improving the business climate and adapting criminal policy to the specificities of economic transactions.

Minister of Justice Leila Jaffel presented the draft law, which aims to enhance the security and reliability of cheque transactions, improve banking practices, achieve economic development and social justice by strengthening the duties and responsibilities of banks, encourage the use of payment mechanisms and alternative electronic solutions, and improve the performance of banking and financial institutions.

The draft law includes a number of amendments, such as the establishment of a new formula for the cheque and its ceiling, the establishment of an electronic platform for handling cheques, the decriminalisation of issuing a cheque without a balance for an amount equal to or less than 5,000 dinars, and strengthening the duties and responsibilities of the bank.

It also includes the extension of the scope of conciliation to include the penalty enforcement phase, the follow-up and prosecution phase, and the inclusion of mediated conciliation for the offence of issuing a bad cheque. It also stipulates that criminal proceedings can only be initiated on the basis of a complaint by the beneficiary.

The revisions also relate to improving banking practices, strengthening the economic and social function of banking institutions and regularising the status of those convicted or prosecuted for the offence of writing a bad cheque with guarantees for the creditor.

The Council of Ministers discussed a draft law approving the loan agreement signed on March 26, 2024 between Tunisia and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to help finance the economic development corridor project (doubling of national road 13 linking the interior provinces of Kasserine, Sidi Bouzid and Sfax). It also examined a draft law approving Tunisia’s accession to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage.

It discussed a draft law approving the loan agreement signed on May 22, 2024 between Tunisia and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) to contribute to the financing of integrated agricultural development in the Tessa valley basin, El Kef governorate, and a draft law amending Law No. 21 of 1995 on international agricultural real estate, which is mainly aimed at private companies.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse