Sorin Grindeanu: Good afternoon! Allow me to start today by sending all my best wishes to all ladies. I will ask Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu to bring to your attention what we consider extremely important for the Government, for what means the programme for government and the effects generated by the Unitary Pay Law.
Lia Olguta Vasilescu: It should not be a surprise for absolutely anyone this unitary pay law, and its principles, as they are very well –presented in the programme for government. We have an envelope of 32 billion for four –year growth of state employees’ salaries, representing an increase by 56 percent on average, in four years, obviously. I think this clarification was logical from the outset for everybody. To date, we have finalized the law, but before sending it to the Romanian Parliament, we consider it very useful to hold discussions with trade unions and we have already very positive signals, as on Monday, we met with the defence and public order trade unions, yesterday, we met with the healthcare trade unions, tomorrow, we will meet with the educational trade unions, on Friday, with culture institutions and federations, and next week, we will continue with the others. Law is amended compared to variants that have been presented to the public. We have been very careful not to exceed this envelope of 32 billion, together with the Ministry of Finance, one week ago, when we considered having this law completed.
We made a calculation, we reached 31 billion, but surely, following our discussions with the trade unions, we will have to make other calculation before sending it to Parliament, so that there is nothing more to add to the amount we assumed. I would like to say that law changes very many principles, it is not anymore on salary brackets, it is on positions, ranks. Wages in the healthcare system will increase as of 2018. The healthcare system personnel will be the first to fully benefit from this salary increase. The others will know a gradual increase over the next four years. We also have a prize pool of 5 percent which is at the disposal of the credit release authority, but this money can be awarded only in agreement with trade unions. We further maintain 30 percent bonuses to credit release authorities. These bonuses should compulsorily include that holiday voucher which is also laid down in the programme for government, and meal vouchers representing two minimum wages per economy, and I also want to tell you that it is a separate chapter on the allowances of dignitaries, mayors and deputy mayors, which are calculated starting with the average salary per economy. Why did we do this? I think an explanation is required. In case of all the other state employees, bonuses add to basic salary, as we know it very well, dignitaries, mayors and deputy mayors have allowances with no bonuses, not even the seniority one. Then, to ensure a fair base for everyone, this variant was chosen. Up to 2021, we consider that all payroll inequities will be corrected, and after 2021, all the payroll system will be set on fair bases, in accordance with the inflation rate. Therefore, absolutely all state employees will benefit from an equal increase after 2021. As aforementioned, to date, trade unions have very well received this law. We will have to adopt it until July 1, this year. Thank you!
Sorin Grindeanu: Thank you, Madam Minister. I will ask Minister Jianu to make some clarifications in relation to the note promoted by the Ministry he is leading, on today’s agenda. Please.
Augustin Jianu: Thank you. Mr. Prime Minister, as you know, according to the Public Finance Law, for the activity – ‘creation –Computer programmes”, programmers benefit from exemption to the payment of income tax. Participation in this activity is set and defined by joint order of four ministries: Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education. In December last year, the previous Government issued an order to ease access to this incentive for start-ups but by adding a phrase of final programmes or components of some final programmes type, they completely excluded the outsourcing market, therefore, the entire IT outsourcing industry in Romania, which comprises actually most of the IT sector, no longer benefits from this exemption. Since January, we have received from employers' associations and companies numerous reports on this aspect, we have analyzed their requests, and we have cooperated with other Ministries in this respect, and we are currently in the final stage of drawing up an order to correct this problem, and to further allow this exemption for the outsourcing companies, therefore software upon order. Also, in accordance with the programme for government, it is envisaged for the trimester III, the completion of the order for extending this incentive to secondary education as well, and other business types. Therefore, I bring to your knowledge that along with other Ministries, we will adopt the order to repair this error as soon as possible, hopefully in this month, and until August, we will have the Order on extending this incentive, to be enforced from January 1, 2018. Thank you.
Sorin Grindeanu: Thank you.