The Romanian economy more than ever needs stability and predictability with all respects, for investors to regain their confidence in the perspectives of growing and developing their businesses on the local market, representatives of the Employers Federation of the Association of Utility Companies (ACUE) said Tuesday during talks with the joint delegation of the IMF, European Commission and World Bank.
The agenda of talks between ACUE and the three institutions focused, among others, on the current trends on the natural gas and electricity markets, especially with regard to implementing the liberalisation calendar. “We agree that there might exist some problems with how this calendar impacts certain industries. We have understanding for it, but we still believe that slowing the enforcement of the calendar would not be such a good signal,” ACUE officials said.
A major problem remains that referring to the arrears of state companies towards their energy providers. CFR remains among the biggest debtors, whose debts to energy companies reached approximately RON 525 M at the middle of this year. Some more RON 520 M should be recovered from customers in insolvency. The ACUE officials explained that operators are forced to provide gas and electricity for an indefinite duration to customers in insolvency, even if they do not pay their invoices. As there are no sanctions for such customers, there is the possibility that they abuse of the situation. This trend is valid for both private and state-run customers. Very important with this respect is the proposal of modifying the Code of insolvency, by compelling the customers in such situations to pay their debts.
As for renewable energy, the respective operators expressed their worry over the future development of energy production from renewable sources following the adoption by the government of Ordinance 57/2013. According to ACUE representatives, in principle and in order not to affect the stability and predictability of the business environment, the modifications of the support scheme should apply only to new investments, not for the existing ones, or those under way. The Romanian energy system urgently needs investments in the near future, which can be operated only with the substantial contribution of private companies that operate in the market and by attracting new investors.
ARPIM: The health system must be more concerned with the patient
The IMF, EC and WB delegation also met the Romanian Association of International Producers of Medicines (ARPIM), on agenda being the calculation mechanism of the clawback tax, the payment of debts for medicines and, most importantly, the right of Romanian patients to have access to modern treatments, similarly to the other European patients.