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February 26, 2021
BUSINESS

SME law changes again, draft to be discussed in May

Small and medium-sized enterprises will take 25 pc smaller bank loans, because of crediting restrictions.

The law of SMEs will be modified again, and the new draft law is in an advanced phase of completion, so it will be sent to the government, for approval, within one month and a half, Anca Ionescu, state secretary with the Ministry of Economy announced yesterday in the conference Mediafax Talks about SMEs, quoted by Mediafax. On the same occasion, the ministry official added that the institution will collaborate with the Ministry of Justice and the National Union of Insolvency Practitioners over modifying the insolvency legislation. The government wants to reduce the number of intermediary bodies and operational programmes, in view of simplifying the procedures of accessing and implementing European funds during the 2014-2020 exercise, according to Eugen Teodorovici, the Minister of European Funds. The government will discuss this subject in a cabinet meeting today. The official added that his ministry considers the decentralisation of the process of accessing European funds, so only the large projects, implemented by big companies, will remain with central authorities, while smaller ones will be transferred to the Regional Development Agencies.

According to Teodorovici, the POS CCE programme will be unblocked in June and the overdue payments will be integrally made in April or May, with money borrowed from the Treasury.Meanwhile, SMEs will be able to access bank loans that will be reduced by 25 pc after the enforcement of the BNR regulation which limits the credits in foreign currency extended to companies and mainly affects small firms, unable to cover the foreign currency risk.“The worst hit sectors are the companies from agriculture, which preponderantly deal on the domestic market, the beneficiaries of European funds, the small SMEs which cannot afford negotiating, from their positions, contracts at the RON/EUR exchange rate,” explains the head of the department for Corporate Products Development of Volksbank, Anca Balasu, during the same event. Balasu believes that banks will extend selective loans in foreign currency, especially on short term, and only some companies will be able to avoid these constraints, respectively exporters and relatively large and financially stable companies from sectors like energy, firms that can borrow money from parent companies, and construction firms which rent spaces. Since 2010, the Counter-Guaranteeing Fund has provided almost 17,000 counter-guarantees, with the cumulated value of EUR 662 M, of which 7,345 last year worth a total EUR 323 M, mostly to commerce companies. The counter-guaranteed bad loans represent 5 pc, compared to 23.2 pc for the entire SME sector of the economy.

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