Over 1,600 localities from Romania will receive around 300 million Euros to cover for their expenses until the end of the year.
In a last minute move, the interim Social Democratic government in Bucharest, which was dismissed last week through a motion of no confidence, approved a decision under which around 300 million Euros will be redistributed to local communities to ensure their functioning until the end of the year. It is a distribution to city halls of the sums broken down from the VAT, according to various expenditure chapters. As many as 1,600 localities will receive funding. However, the money is not enough for the needs of the local communities.
According to the local administration representatives and to the government decision substantiation note, this autumn some 8.5 billion lei were needed for the local budgets to be closed, of which 4.7 billion lei (around 990 million Euros) are operating expenses and 3.8 billion lei (around 800 million Euros) are expenses for development.
Outgoing finance minister Eugen Teodorovici has given assurances that the money will be allotted fairly, depending on the local communities’ needs and not on political criteria. He has explained that the final form of the government decision has taken into account the budget execution for September for each local community.
Eugen Teodorovici: “This money distribution gives priority to ensuring the operating expenses such as personnel expenses, including expenses for people with severe disabilities and their personal assistants and the monthly entitlements for the people with disabilities. Money will also be granted to ensure the goods and services for keeping the education units, the child protection institutions and the public centers for people with disabilities. We’ll also cover other urgent expenses, which are necessary in 2019 and whose payment cannot be postponed.”
There was also a suggestion to redistribute 23 million lei to all communes of Romania so as to ensure their functioning for at least three months. The outgoing finance minister has pointed out that the money will be granted to all localities, whether or not they requested it from the Finance Ministry. He believes that this year the government has made a historic money allocation to local communities and thus Romania can obtain a deficit of under 3% of the GDP at the end of the year.
The government also approved the allocation from the reserve fund of the money necessary for heating during the winter season in several localities of Romania, including the capital Bucharest, which will receive 100 million lei. As regards the National Local Development Program, the situation will be sorted out at the next government meeting, so that all invoices submitted by the local communities to the Ministry for Development should be paid, minister Eugen Teodorovici added. (translation by L. Simion)