The prime-minister Emil Boc stated on Friday in Timisoara that 20 investment projects, worth over EUR 1.1bln, had benefited from EUR 300 M-state aid, under a support scheme approved by the European Union (EU), Mediafax reports. The premier made the statement while attending a forum of investors titled “Regionalization, state reform and economic recovery measures”, in response to a question coming from an Italian businessman, in reference to large-scale investors’ chances of obtaining state aid. The Italian entrepreneur warned “many investors in Western Romania are moving shop to Serbia as this country grants tax exemptions to companies depending on the value of the investment and the number of employees”. Furthermore, the latter argued, Serbia boasts specialized bodies which offer assistance to investors for the time they are running business there, lower taxes, a better-developed infrastructure and lower utility costs.
Boc replied: “The Government grants state aid for large-scale investments, for instance those over EUR 100, which hire over 500 employees”. “In the case of large-scale investments, compensation of nearly 40 pc of the investment value applies. The state also grants subventions to companies which make investments of a minimum EUR 5 M and create minimum 50 jobs. By September 5, 2011, 20 investment projects worth over EUR 1.1bln, which created over 10,000 jobs, had been allotted approx. EUR 300 M-state aid,” the premier stated. The latter added the state aid support scheme had been approved by the European Union.
Boc further stated that the Government envisaged five grand-scale projects it wished to implement in a public-private partnership system, including the building of a hydropower plant, the Cernavoda reactors, the Bucharest belt-road, as well as the Siret-Baragan and Danube-Bucharest canals. He added to this list the building of the Sibiu-Pitesti and Comarnic-Brasov highway segments, also mentioning a project that concerns the Targu Mures-Iasi-Ungheni and Ploiesti-Albita-Suceava segments.
At the same time, the prime-minister stated on Friday, during a visit of the Arad-Timisoara highway building site, that he was “most displeased” with the builder’s failure to meet the terms of the contract and would call on the Transport Minister for sanctions against the builder. He added that the Government had decided to adopt “a very intransigent stance” in dealings with road-builders who failed to meet the deadlines and, when asked by journalists why the same companies kept winning the bids, he replied the question should be addressed to those who organize the auctions.