Suspended payments under the “Regional Development 2007-2013” Operational Program will be restored with money from the state budget., this was announced after a meeting between caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Ekaterina Zaharieva, caretaker Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov, caretaker Minister of Environment and Water Svetlana Zhekova, representatives of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB) and the management of the Bulgarian Construction Chamber (BCC) – Chairman Eng. Svetoslav Glosov, his deputies Andrey Tsekov and Eng. Nikolay Stankov, who is Chairman of the BCC Regional Office – Sofia. The talks were held in the Council of Ministers, after which the participants gave a briefing in the Granite Hall. Among the topics discussed were the possibilities of recovery of payments to municipalities and the construction industry for the implementation of projects financed by the EU Structural Funds. “Thanks to the hard work and dialogue between institutions and organizations payments are recovered,” said Deputy Prime Minister. Since the beginning of the week in the certifying authority of OPRD have been applied requests for BGN 188 million. Zaharieva clarified that the means for payment are provided by reserves in the state budget.
She commented also the problem with payments under the suspended by the European Commission OP “Environment”. It is expected under it to start transfer of funds in stages and also will be sought reserves from the budget. Accurate estimates will be prepared and presented next week at a press conference by Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov.
“Managing authorities will begin to submit requests for payment to the certifying authorities and they in turn will pay them according to the budget,” said Deputy Prime Minister. According to her, options are sought FLAG Fund to continue providing bridge financing for municipalities engaged in European projects.
Ekaterina Zaharieva expressed satisfaction regarding the meeting with BCC and NAMRB and pointed out that the main priority of the caretaker government will be to restore confidence and dialogue with local authorities and businesses. She added that another important task of the government is to find funds to settle work done by construction companies and municipalities on projects financed by the suspended programs to their unfreezing by EC. She said a lot of things had to be done in short terms, to return the normal rhythm of construction, not to ruin the season and to increase confidence of the private sector and citizens in public institutions. “We are looking for reserves and structure the budget so that by the end of the year not to lose BGN 3 billion under the operational programs,” said Zaharieva.
Caretaker Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov added that goal is by 30 October to submit maximum number of requests for reimbursement of certified expenditure. Then the final date for the financial year expires when in EC can be submitted requests for payment.