A total BGN 304 million will go in early September to municipalities for projects under the suspended Operational Program “Environment” (OPE), and from them – to builders. This was announced by Yana Georgieva, head of the Managing authority of the program. She explained that currently is going on the processing of documents submitted by local authorities to the Ministry of Environment and Water (MEW), and by early next week they will be sent for certification to the National Fund of the Ministry of Finance.
This will be the second tranche to municipalities. The first one – amounting to nearly BGN 166 million, was allocated to the accounts of ministries, agencies, city councils and natural parks. The transfer of funds from the state budget to beneficiaries, implementing projects under OPE, was necessary after the EC had suspended payments under the program because of irregularities. After the five months, during which funding was frozen, municipalities were faced with the inability to meet their obligations to the contractors – construction companies. Many companies were on the verge of bankruptcy. So in August it was decided the state to resume payments under OPE with budget money.
A total EUR 426 million from the resources of the program should reach the beneficiaries in 4 months, until the end of 2014. This is the condition the loss of funds under the program to be minimized, said from MEW.