BUSINESS

New gov’t to observe agreements on the privatisation of state companies

The private management of state companies will be appointed by October this year, with the first companies targeted by the measure being Hidroelectrica and Transgaz.

In a meeting Saturday with the representatives of the IMF and the European Commission, the incoming minister of Economy, Daniel Chitoiu pledged to privatise Oltchim in September and to resume the auction for the sale of Cupru Min immediately after the company is re-evaluated and gets an environment license, Mediafax reports. In a press conference, yesterday evening, at Cotroceni Palace, President Traian Basescu said state-owned companies are not to be privatized in totality, but rather partially, to raise money for technology upgrades. The private management of state companies, provided by the accord with the IMF, will be appointed by October this year, with the first companies targeted by the measure being Hidroelectrica and Transgaz, the incoming Economy minister added. Other state-run companies that will receive private managers are Romarm and Electrica Furnizare. As provided by the commitments made to the IMF, the list continues with Tarom, SNLO, CFR SA, CFR Calatori, Nuclearelectrica, Transelectrica and Romgaz. In his turn, following talks with the IMF and EC, incoming Communication minister Dan Nica mentioned that the privatisation of postal operator Posta Romania will go on as planned, and approximately 300 back-office employees should go, because the staff scheme is overcrowded.The incoming minister of Finance, Florin Georgescu said Friday that the government will observe all the commitments referring to privatisation that will be agreed upon during negotiations with the IMF delegation.Also following the Saturday meeting with the IMF and EC delegation, it has been decided that the Ministry of Economy will renegotiate the contracts with the so-called “smart guys” that buy large amounts of energy at low prices. “I promised to renegotiate these contracts within 10 days at most, and then we will inform the financial institutions about the decisions we made,” he added. The minister added that he will renegotiate the quantities and prices provided by energy contracts, as well as shorter deadlines. Asked whether he saw any of these contracts, the minister answered that he personally saw none of them so far, as he is not allowed to. Also, there were no talks over the contracts with Chevron, he added.

Gas price will not go up until 2013

The price of natural gas for both population and non-household consumer will not increase this year, Daniel Chitoiu said after a meeting with the envoys of IMF and the European Commission, held at the Central Bank (BNR) headquarters. According to the incoming minister, Romania has a delay in adopting the legislation on energy and gas, although these laws have reached the Parliament. “Furthermore, we promised to pass the Gas Law by emergency ordinance,” he added, while confirming that the price of gas will increase next year. “Yes, the gas price will increase starting 2013,” Chitoiu mentioned.

 

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