Economist: Ad Hoc Parliamentary Commission Should Urgently Amend Bulgaria’s Recovery PlanBusiness | April 22, 2021, Thursday // 14:53| views
The new Parliament should ask the European Commission to officially extend the deadline for the submittal of the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan till 20-25 May and to urgently set up a working group tasked with correcting “errors” in it, economist Dimiter Ivanov said on bTV.
According to him, 13 Member States have not submitted their national plans as of yet although the deadline expires in eight days, on April 30.
At the moment, it is expected that at least 3-4 countries will miss this date and ask for an official extension. We should not panic, there is no danger of losing the money, but it may be delayed, "Ivanov said.
According to him, Bulgaria cannot go to Brussels with a "product of the outgoing government", and the working group has to remedy serious drawbacks .
"First of all, the plan should be based on the real economy. In the previous versions, it was not focused on business, and this will be to the disadvantage of good business projects. Secondly, the plan doesn’t make it clear how the control over the funds use will be exercised, which will be criticized by the European Committee.
Also, this plan is divided into two parts - grants and loans, and there is not a word in the plan about access to loans while they can help companies modernize even if they are given as loans on favorable terms," Ivanov said.
We remind you that a few days ago the business community and the trade unions also united around the proposal to make loans part of the recovery plan.
Ivanov further paid attention to another omission in the plan - the outgoing cabinet states that the advance funds amounting to 12% of the total BGN 12 billionwill be disbursed by 2023 - 2024, and according to the idea of the European Commission, all funds must be disbursed by 2026.
However, over the span of two years, there is no way to absorb all the remaining funds and the European Commission will pay close attention to this issue,” Ivanov was adamant.
According to his calculations, the European Commission will be considering the submitted national plans for about two months after that they will have to be approved by the Council of Europe and then the European Commission will start actual withdrawing of money from the international markets. The Member states will be able to receive the first advance funds already in September provided they didn’t miss the deadline.
Should the national plan be submitted to Brussels later the money will be delayed by about a month, Ivanov explained.
He also commented that the criteria and requirements to the national plans set by Brussels are very high-level and quoted as an example Italy whose plan was turned down several days ago.
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