Press statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and other Cabinet members at the start of the Cabinet meeting of August 24

24 August

Ludovic Orban: Good afternoon. I suggest we start the Cabinet meeting. We convened the Cabinet meeting, in addition to the existing legislative documents, we will have to re-analyse for adoption, following the opinion of the Legislative Council, two emergency ordinances: the first emergency ordinance is the one whereby the amount of 175 million euros is allocated for the defrayment of expenses of the local authorities, school units, for the preparation of the start of the school year. It is the legislative document covering the expenses for the purchase of tablets for pupils, costs associated with protective equipment, masks and other personal protective equipment, both for pupils, and the teaching staff who need them. It is about expenses necessary to prepare schools so that we diminish the disease transmission risk. In this respect, I ask the Secretariat –General to urgently send it to the Official Gazette so that it is published today. Vice Prime Minister, I kindly request you to hold a meeting with the representatives of the local authorities’ representatives, with the Association of municipalities, towns, communes, alongside the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Health Ministry, Public Works, Development, and Administration Ministry, to establish in detail the measures which need to be taken to prepare the school year. Therefore, we need to adopt the final form, surely following the observations of notice givers.  We will also have to reintroduce on the daily agenda the Emergency Ordinance on the amendments to SMEs Invest. Minister Cîţu.

Florin Cîţu: Yes, Mr Prime Minister, we have taken into account the observations of the Legislative Council.

Ludovic Orban: Basically, the ordinance refers to the rise of the ceiling from 15 billion to 20 billion ...

Florin Cîţu: Yes. There are some important changes. Therefore: raising the ceiling from 15 billion to 20 billion, implementing a standard interest subsidy period of 8 months from the date of loan granting, because initially, it was until the end of the year and then it is a standard period of eight months for all beneficiaries of this program. In this respect, it was a demand from micro-enterprises and small enterprises to access loans, credit lines, for financing working capital in a greater amount ​​of up to 5 million.

Ludovic Orban: So up to 5 million, not on the ceiling of one million.

Florin Cîţu: And we eliminated the requirement by which the beneficiaries of the program pledged not to lay off the existing staff until December 31, 2020.

Ludovic Orban: So here too, I request, after adoption, the urgent transmission of the document to the Official Gazette for its entry into force. Minister of Agriculture, we are committed to adopting the emergency ordinance on granting compensation to farmers whose land plots were hit by drought. Are you ready with it?

Adrian Oros: Yes, Prime Minister, we are ready. Please include on the additional list the draft Emergency Ordinance on the establishment of a state aid scheme granted to agricultural producers who planted crops in autumn 2019 which were hit by pedological drought.  It should obtain the notice of the Legislative Council.

Ludovic Orban: So, once with its passing, you can start making payments. We are committed to starting payments on September 1st.

Adrian Oros: When the emergency ordinance is published in the Official Gazette, there are 10 calendar days in which farmers will register, and submit applications to APIA. After these 10 days, according to regulations, there will be an administrative control deadline on 5% of the applications, according to the regulations, and immediately we will start the payments, somewhere in the middle of September.

Ludovic Orban: All right. Shorten the procedures as much as possible and do not delay the evaluation. Do the checks quickly, because that's not a big deal, and afterwards, please send the results of the checks to the decentralized authorities. We also discussed with Minister Boloş to debate the Emergency Ordinance on the preparation of the National Resilience and Recovery Plan. Minister, is this normative act ready?

Marcel Bolos: Yes, Prime Minister. We request its introduction on the additional agenda. We received observations from all notice givers.  We request the original notice so that we can go through the legal procedure for its approval.

 

Ludovic Orban: All right, Minister. Minister Popescu, have you sent to the European Commission the restructuring plan for the Oltenia Energy Complex?

Virgil Popescu: Yes, Prime Minister. I signed around noon a request to the Competition Council to take all steps and, obviously, with the kind request to accept a delay of one, two days if it does not arrive in time, taking into account the fact that I signed it today at noon. So, it's just a technical issue.

Ludovic Orban: All right. Minister Tătaru, take all measures to speed up the procurement procedure and be ready for the procurement procedure for the elections.

Nelu Tataru: Yes. At present, we have an evaluation made for the election.

Ludovic Orban: To what amount was it evaluated?

Nelu Tătaru: At 12 million lei.

Ludovic Orban: 12 million lei. Is money provided in the budget for this purpose, isn’t it?

Nelu Tătaru: Now let's see ...

Ludovic Orban: Check that, if not, we will have to allocate from the reserve fund and the government decision must be prepared, because otherwise, you cannot launch the procedure.

Nelu Tătaru: We have it ready.

Ludovic Orban: And prepare the procedure more meticulously, it should go as fast as possible.



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