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August 7, 2022
BUSINESS

Debts to the state, equal to the tax paid by 400,000 SMEs each year

The solution as business ethics: tough measures for bad payers and “white lists” for good payers, as reputation encouragement.

There is, in the Romanian society, the feeling that banks do not grant enough loans. But in order to finance a business, it must be sound, said Bogdan Olteanu, deputy governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) during a debate on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).“One of the issues is their lack of capitalisation. When they had money, they preferred to capitalise their shareholders, which is legal. But when crisis hit, banks looked in their account books and discovered social capitals of RON 100, RON 200 or RON 10,000, which cannot inspire too much trust,” Olteanu said, quoted by Mediafax. In his turn, Valentin Lazea, chief economist of the central bank mentioned that there are many companies in Romania that prefer not to pay their providers or the taxes to the state. “Apparently, this is a good reasoning to optimise your flows, but in the end you lose your reputation. In the west, the economy was built on confidence. In Romania, almost all institutions have black lists: banks have the Central of Banking Risks, the Tax Authority has the list of bad payers.

What if there existed a white list as well? Reputation must be encouraged,” Lazea said.Maria Grapini, minister for SMEs and tourism announced that she will take over this idea in the projects of her ministry, while companies that delayed payments and were incorrect with the state and providers maximised their gains. “Those who maximised their profit and did not pay their taxes and their suppliers have a big deficit of image now, at the time of crisis. (…) The first 100 debtors to the state have debts that are equivalent to the tax paid each year by 400,000 SMEs. They did not pay, they should answer with their assets,” Grapini said. She went on: “I proposed we should find very tough legal measures against those who did not pay. There are economic operators which have paid zero RON to the budget during the last 20 years, while micro enterprises paid for 20 years.” Grapini believes that ethics should no longer be optional in business and must become mandatory. The minister added that the existence in the business environment of a company that does not act ethically also influences the image of correct companies.

Talks over the lump-sum tax will resume

On this occasion, Maria Grapini announced that a new round of talks will be held today between the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the ministry for SMEs and tourism over the impact study on the lump-sum tax, HotNews.ro reports. According to minister Grapini, in its current form the lump-sum tax would be of 75 EUR/year/hotel room in the case of hotels in Bucharest and smaller in the rest of the country. The lump-sum tax will be calculated as a fixed sum, depending on certain indicators for each activity sector, and companies will pay less than if they enforced the 16 pc tax on profit or the 3 pc tax on income, the minister for SMEs and tourism explained. She gave as example the hotels of the seaside and the mountain, where seasonality is taken into account when establishing the sum to be paid. Grapini mentioned that tax evasion in these services for population is very high, as in 2011 the tax paid by all hotels and guesthouses in Romania was smaller than in the car repairs sector. The lump-sum tax to be enforced on July 1st will target only some services, like guesthouses, hotels, restaurants, beauty salons or car wash units.

 

Subsidies in agriculture depending on the market share related to agricultural credit

Banks will be able to intermediate the payment of subsidies in agriculture, depending on the share they held on the market of agricultural loans, according to a regulation that will be approved in the coming days by order of the minister of Agriculture, the state secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), Achim Irimescu said during the event. The MADR official anticipates that, after the enactment of the order on the selection of subsidy distributors based on their activity in the agricultural loans sector, the sums will go to five credit institutions, at most. He did not want to disclose the names of the banks with the highest chances to make the distribution of agricultural subsidies, but confirmed that CEC Bank is among the most active institutions on the market of agricultural loans. According to Irimescu, MADR wants to increase the negotiation power of producers, through the incentives it grants and by increasing the transparency of costs in the chain producer-processor-distributor.

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