Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration Vasile Dancu stated on Friday that several chapters of the 2016 budget have earmarked financial support for religious infrastructure, which is also provided in the budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (MDRAP) for 2016, through the National Investment Company, and that, consequently, one cannot speak of a Government decision to stop allocating funds to churches, but about a shift in prioritizing resources.
Dancu was asked whether a punctual project, included in an amendment requesting the allocation of the amount of 25,000 lei to modernize a place of worship, would be funded additionally, given that the Government has decided not to allocate funds for churches.
“There isn’t a Government decision not to allocate money. It is simply about prioritizing. In the national programme of the National Investment Company, a programme managed by the ministry I am heading, there are very many projects related to Romania’s religious infrastructure, community centres managed by churches, other investments. There is a pretty large sum, around 100 million (editor’s note: lei) in this sector, so there isn’t a lack of financing. (…) There are investments that will be financed next year too through continuity programmes, which were started in the past years. Therefore, there isn’t a programmatic lack of financing for the church, it is simply a reprioritization of this year’s resources,” Dincu explained, at the end of hearings in the public administration committees which gave the green light, with amendments, the 2016 MDRAP budget.
When asked about the fact that, out of the 55 amendments submitted to the 2016 MDRAP budget refer to local investment programmes linked to modernizing or building schools, kindergartens, churches, sewers or roads, Dancu stated that “deputies, normally, serve their communities and attempt to supplement the budget amounts, as always, with projects that are much more customized, that will become linked to their own contribution, their name”.
“All these projects will be analysed in the budget and finances committee. We saw these projects. There are investment projects in the local infrastructure mostly and, we will see, those that are feasible could be included, but we have very many projects that can be included in this area of local infrastructure,” the Deputy PM explained.
Vasile Dincu stated that a part of the projects requested by MPs through amendments submitted to the 2016 MDRAP budget could enter the new programmes considered for the upcoming year. “We will find solutions to try and serve the local interests as well as possible,” Dancu stated.
Programme dedicated to Greater Romania centennial in work at Regional Development Ministry’s level
Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dancu announced on Friday that at the level of the Regional Development and Public Administration Ministry (MDRAP), the ministry he leads, there is a programme dedicated to the Romania’s centennial as national state in 2018.
He specified that before knowing he was to be a member of the Ciolos Cabinet, he thought of a project on this topic in his quality as a sociologist. According to Dancu, his ministry has already started to work for this centennial project, and that a component of the said jubilee is the rehabilitation of some historical buildings.
“Through the CNI (National Investments Company – editor’s note), a component of the CNI, by financing from the state budget, we should rehabilitate [some buildings] at the 100-year anniversary since the national state’s establishment, we should show a few signs of modernization in Romania,” the Deputy Premier told the hearings of the public administration committees on the budget bill on 2016.
Dancu specified that the project is to be substantiated and could be enforced in 2017 and 2018. “I believe it is a priceless project for Romania,” the Deputy Premier concluded.