The IMF, the EC and the Association of Companies for Energy Utilities (ACUE) will take part today in the third working meeting this year, a communiqué informs. The main themes included on the agenda consist of the developments on the natural gas and electricity markets in Romania, being mainly centred on the evolution of regulated prices and the policy of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). The talks will also focus on the level of debts that state-owned companies have towards electricity suppliers, the stage of energy investment projects but also the existing opportunities for drawing new investors in this domain.
At the same time, Jeffrey Franks, head of the IMF mission to Romania, stated in an interview that Romania could become an energy exporter provided correct policies are applied and the authorities know how to draw the necessary investments in this domain, HotNews informs. In what concerns the reform of state-owned companies in Romania, the IMF official stated that substantial progress was made in some cases, however many things still need to be done in others.
Franks also stated that the government’s capacity to hike public sector salaries “will crucially depend on the continued reduction of public sector employees and on the possibility of hiking budget revenues so that resources for salary hikes would be created.” Likewise, he said that the IMF will lower its prognosis on Romania’s economic growth in 2012 because “the current problems in the Euro Area are felt throughout the European Union and beyond its borders, and Romania is no exception to that.”
Draft budget for 2012, postponed
In other topic, PM Emil Boc announced yesterday that the budget draft for the next year will not be sent to Parliament this month because the discussions with the IMF were not completed. He send a letter to the two chambers of the Parliament regarding the project delay. The leadership of the Senate by its Vice President Ioan Chelaru (PSD) requires the Government to find “urgent” a solution in this respect. Senate President, Mircea Geoana said on Monday that he will write to PM Boc to come to Parliament to obtain a mandate before negotiating with the IMF, WB and EC. Meanwhile, PDL spokesman, Sever Voinescu, said that in one week will be completed next year budget figures.