Romania has attracted almost 59 per cent from the assigned European funds for rural development, the money actually paid to Romanian beneficiaries until early August exceeding EUR 5.15 bln, general manager of the Agency for Payments for Rural Development and Fisheries (APDRP) George Turtoi told Agerpres in an interview.
‘I can say that, for rural development, we have reached an effective absorption rate of nearly 59 per cent, money reimbursed to Romania by the European Commission (EC). In terms of the amount actually paid and entered in the national economy we speak of EUR 5.15 bln in early August. However, the system is somewhat hindered because of the recent norms of the Ministry of Finance, by which we can not make two payments per month, but one only, following the introduction of legal deadlines for the account opening, and then we cannot fit in with two applications per month’, stressed the APDRP head.
Turtoi is optimistic in respects of the target of EUR 1.4 bln attracted in 2013, even though the main problems do not come from the structure or the system, but from the financial crisis.
‘The biggest problem is that there is no differentiation between loans for agriculture and loans for other fields, such as those in real estate. The guarantees are often the same. In all other EU countries there are specialized banks for agriculture, because there are other risks, other prognosis. It is something different from an investment in real estate. I saw a couple of banks here, which came up with some special packages on agriculture, but when talking with the beneficiaries I found out that the collateral required for obtaining a loan is about the same ‘, Turtoi added.
As concerns the adjustments applied to Romania for the EUR 5 bln attracted from European funds, the APDRP head said that Romania is among the countries with the smallest corrections, the amount going to be deducted from the subsequent amounts to be paid. ‘The Commission focuses on high values, where there are also the biggest financial risks. (…) I might say that we are among those in the lead, by comparison to other countries in the EU, meaning that we do not have large sums under corrections, as a ratio of the amounts paid, and this was surprising for the Commission, as well’, added the general manager of APDRP.