PM Ciolos: Uniform pay bill could reach Parliament early next year

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The uniform pay bill could reach Parliament at the beginning of next year, Premier Dacian Ciolos announced on Thursday.

“It could reach Parliament early next year, and then it all depends on how long the debates in Parliament take,” Premier Ciolos told the TVR1 public television.

According to Ciolos, the Labour Minister is working along the trade unions on the principles and calculations concerning this draft piece of legislation.

“We have almost completed the data base (…) and I hope that – anyhow this is our goal – before the end of the term we table the Government such a bill,” Ciolos explained.

 

“Longer motorway stretches ready to open, had previous Gov’t duly prepared projects”

 

Premier Dacian Ciolos said on Thursday that had the previous government prepared enough projects, there would have been longer motorway stretches to open to traffic this year.

“Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies are not my passion, but then again, had the previous government duly prepared the projects, we would have had longer motorway stretches to open. More than that, we had to repair the motorway segments inaugurated by the previous government in stylish ribbon cutting ceremonies, but which collapsed afterwards,” Ciolos said at the Victoria Palace of Government.

He explained that his government “filled in the potholes” and reopened to traffic the Sibiu – Orastie segment “on its own,” without waiting for tenders that could have been subsequently challenged.

He also underscored that his ruling lineup unlocked almost all the projects that had been previously locked for administrative reasons, because of poorly negotiated or poorly worded contracts.

Ciolos said that works are underway an almost all sites, including 300 kilometers of motorway, and assured that as the various stretches are progressively completed in the coming period, the next government will be able to also enjoy some ribbon-cutting events.

 

“It is not Agriculture minister who sets the gas price or prepares industrial policy bills”

 

Premier Dacian Ciolos made it clear on Thursday that it is not the Agriculture minister who sets the natural gas price nor does he draw up regulatory acts on industrial policies.

Ciolos thus replied to a question regarding the fact that in the period during which he served as Agriculture minister he supposedly signed documents facilitating the cut of the gas price, thus favouring certain companies.

“Interesting how these things regarding my person are dusted off just like that, exactly in this period. It is a matter I have commented on when it was topical. (…) I was Agriculture minister back then and I don’t think the Agriculture minister sets the gas price, or that the Agriculture minister negotiates or prepares regulatory acts aimed at industrial policies, the gas price included. It is natural that when someone asks you if you want cheaper soil fertilizers for farmers, gas-based chemical fertilizers … it’s normal for an Agriculture minister to be interested in creating the opportunity for farmers to access cheaper fertilizers,” the Prime Minister pointed out in a press conference at the Victoria Palace.

 

Impending enforcement of simplified VAT mechanism for farmers

 

The Finance Ministry is working on a simplified VAT mechanism for farmers that will soon come in force, Premier Dacian Ciolos announced on Thursday.

A measure we took right this week along with the amendment of the Tax Code is a simplified VAT mechanism for farmers – individuals, self-employed or family farms. (…) These categories of farmers may opt either for the normal VAT registration or for the simplified mechanism that provides for zero VAT for these categories that will not invoice with VAT and will neither have VAT deducted, so they will be relieved of all this bureaucracy and all the paperwork with the VAT registration. Yet as these farmers buy various inputs that have the VAT included in the price, even if the VAT rate is less than 9 percent, the Ministry of Finance has a mechanism in preparation to allow the farmers to recover this amount or this additional expense they incur by their purchasing inputs at a price that includes VAT. (…) When they sell their products these farmers will be able to add to the normal price a certain markup to recover their expense. (…) The buyers of the farmers’ products, usually VAT-paying companies, will recover the difference from the state, through the VAT reimbursement mechanisms, Dacian Ciolos explained in a joint press conference with representatives of the Coalition for the Development of Romania delivered at the Victoria Palace of Government.

The Premier underscored that the farmers had been waiting since long for this mechanism and that the government had sought a solution that is compliant with European legislation.

Among the measures taken by the government in agriculture, the Premier also mentioned the reduction of the VAT rate from 20 to 9 percent for agricultural works, services and inputs used in agriculture.