Roads agency, blockchain regulatory framework approved by parliament

The House voted in favour of a Bill establishing Infrastructure Malta, as well as three separate laws making up Malta’s distributed ledger technology regulatory framework

The House voted in favour of a Bill establishing Infrastructure Malta, as well as three separate laws making up Malta’s distributed ledger technology regulatory framework
The House voted in favour of a Bill establishing Infrastructure Malta, as well as three separate laws making up Malta’s distributed ledger technology regulatory framework

Four Bills, one establishing Infrastructure Malta and three establishing a regulatory framework for Malta’s up and coming blockchain sector were approved by Parliament on Wednesday evening.

A statement issued by the Transport ministry said the new agency will have the “responsibility of implementing the government’s mandate to make a great leap forward in the quality of Malta and Gozo’s road infrastructure”.

The agency, it said, would be tasked with building and maintaining the country’s main roads as well as thousands of other residential and rural roads in every locality, through an investment exceeding €700 million.

“The parliamentary approval of the law regarding Infrastructure Malta is a great step forward to strengthen the work and investment through which our country will have roads and other infrastructure of the highest quality in the years to come,” Transport minister Ian Borg was quoted saying.

The ministry said that in addition to arterial and secondary rounds, the agency would also be responsible for residential and rural raods that currently fall within the remit of local councils.

“In this way, Transport Malta can focus and strengthen its work as a regulator of our country’s transport systems, while local councils will be released from the weight of the responsibility and cost of road maintenance so they can have more resources for other work towards the benefit of their residents,” the ministry said.

It added that Infrastructure Malta would establish new technical and administrative procedures, as well as more rigorous standards in order for the investment being made by the government to be effectively implemented.

First blockchain regulatory framework of its kind

In addition to the roads agency, Parliament also approved laws the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act.

The Digital Economy secretariat described the three laws as the first of their kind of the world, which would set up the regulatory regime for Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Before the approval of the regulatory framework, there were several companies which announced their decision to operate from Malta, investments that will eventually result in the creation of more common good and new jobs in Malta, the secretariat said.

“Through innovation, Malta is fast becoming a pioneer in economic innovation in order to strengthen its economy through the creation of a new economic niche. This is resulting in other bigger countries following the footsteps that Malta took in this field,” it added.

Parliamentary secretary for the Digital Economy Silvio Schembri described parliament’s approval as a step that would put investors’ minds at rest, given that companies now had the necessary tools to operate in a regulated environment.

“I am optimistic that further companies will choose Malta to operate from with a system that offers stability and that will eventually result in further economic growth”, said Schembri.

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