The National Authority of Fiscal Administration (ANAF) will take over an outstanding debt of RON 119 M to AVAS, then CFR Marfa will take over a debt of RON 605.9 M towards ANAF, deducted from the sums owed by the freight carrier to the administrator of the railway network. The provisions are included in a draft emergency ordinance on regulating some financial fiscal measures, devised by the Ministry of Transport, Mediafax reports. “Given that the reduction of arrears to the general consolidated budget is one of the targets agreed in the Letter of Intent and the Technical Memorandum of Understanding of the Preventive Stand-by Arrangement between Romania and the International Monetary Fund, in order to secure the meeting of this goal, it is necessary to promote the measures proposed through this act. Failure to meet the agreed target of arrears reduction would pose problems to the good course of the Stand-by Arrangement”, reads the justificatory note of the project.The urgency character is also justified by the necessity of adopting this measure in view of extinguishing the debts towards the state budget, thus also mitigating the social impact of the restructuring and reorganisation processes of companies, explain the authors of the document. Enacting this act will result in diminishing the debts of CFR Marfa towards CFR SA and those of CFR SA to ANAF, according to the justificatory note.
At the end of March, CFR expected to register an accounting profit in excess of RON 100 M, compared to the end of the same month of 2012, when the accounting profit was minus RON 20 M, according to preliminary data, the Chairman of the Board, Lucian Isar, announced yesterday in a press conference, quoted by money.ro. In his turn, the CEO of ‘Compania Nationala de Cai Ferate CFR’, Dimitris Sophocleous, explained that, in operational terms, the debts to the state budget are RON 80 M smaller and the employer’s contributions were paid without delay.
Moreover, in accounting terms, the preliminary results for Q1 are positive and indicate a plus of RON 100 M. Sophocleous added that the goal is to reach profit in 2016. CFR SA announced Monday that, after paying the mandatory contributions to the state budget, it reduced by 13 pc its debts in Q1, from RON 620 M to RON 540 M.
Auctions manager, detained for blackmail
The state-run railway operator is plagued not only by debts, but also by a case of blackmail. Virgil Tcaciuc, the head of the Auctions and Contracts Department of CFR was detained Monday evening by police, under the suspicion of having blackmailed two colleagues with management positions, brought to Iasi in order to coordinate auctions, whom he sent threat messages trying to make them give up their jobs. Police sources said that the people blackmailed by Tcaciuc, who – evz.ro reports – is a friend of Transport minister Relu Fenechiu, are Florin Trandafirescu and Maria Monica Mihaileanu. Trandafirescu is a PNL member of the Iasi Local Council, he was the chief of the Patrimony Division of CFR Iasi, and now is deputy CEO of CFR Infrastructura, in charge with European projects.
Bad news for the rail infrastructure
Passenger trains run at an average speed of 44 km/h in Romania, as almost half of the existing rail network must be overhauled, according to zf.ro. This year, the rail infrastructure has been allocated EUR 616 M from the state budget, a sum that also includes the co-financing of European projects, almost twice the sum made available last year, CFR SA officials said. Only EUR 18 M were allotted for overhaul operations, which will cover 13 km out of a total 5,900 km in need. However, a document posted on the site of the Ministry of Transport mentions that the total sum made available for investments this year amounts to EUR 1.23 bln. It does not specify what types of funds it includes – European grants, state financing or external loans.