Statements by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă at the start of the Cabinet meeting

31 July

Viorica Dancila: Good afternoon. Lately, I have taken a set of decisions following the Caracal tragedy. We are working on several levels, both for finding out the truth and for preventing similar situations in the future. This morning, the Interim Minister of Internal Affairs Mihai Fifor had already talks with the Ministry’s subordinate units. Yesterday, the Control Body of the Prime Minister already started the control action to inquire into the way the branches of the Ministry of Internal Affairs intervened, and relate with the other institutions with powers in emergency situations.

Romanians should continue to trust the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Each authority is dutybound to ensure people’s safety. The Internal Affairs Ministry has many professionals, people who do their duty and enjoy people’s respect and appreciation. But all those for whom the citizen’s interest does not prevail should leave the system. The working group set up to upgrade legislation and response procedures in emergencies is already working and in the shortest time possible, it will come up with proposals to amend the legislation. As I underlined in my other statements, all who failed to do their duty will be severely punished, and this Cabinet will take all necessary measures to toughen penalties for assault, rape, deprivation of liberty, paedophilia. On yesterday’s CSAT meeting, I asked and obtained the approval for the amendment of legislation so that the draft project Ploiesti – Comarnic –Brasov be included among the strategic objectives of national interest. I made this decision as Romanians have been waiting for more than 10 years for the construction of this motorway, and this legislative amendment will allow us to speed up public procurement procedures, funding from the state budget, and removal of blockages and delays. It is a decision we assume and we will take all necessary measures so that important projects for Romania’s development be implemented as fast as possible. At the same time, Romania’s development should take place in a uniform way, and for this purpose, I already asked the preparation of the documentation necessary to include in the projects of national interest other investments such as the Union Motorway, Targu Neamt –Iasi Motorway, or the South Motorway. Full involvement is needed, and we are determined to carry out many investments as we committed through the programme for government. On today’s meeting, we will approve several measures for the development of transport infrastructure. One of these aims to increase the degree of road safety in Romania, to improve the traffic conditions on public roads, by arranging railway level crossings, where serious road accidents occur annually. Through an investment project of about 35 million lei, in maximum two years, lighting poles, traffic separators, poles for the delimitation of traffic directions will be installed at all 246 railway level crossings, to prevent road accidents. The project is financed both from non-reimbursable external funds and from the state budget. Today, we approve the technical –economic indicators for the detour road of Zalau municipality, second stage, project awaited by citizens in the area, and economic agents and transportation companies. The total amount of investment stands at nearly 240 million lei, and it will be financed from European funds and the state budget.

We amend the legislation regarding the inclusion of the Siret - Bărăgan Master Canal in the national program for the rehabilitation of the main irrigation infrastructure in Romania. Through a decision that we will discuss in the Government meeting, we aim to rehabilitate and finalize a 14 km section of Stage I of this important objective that will increase farmers' access to water sources for irrigations. On today's meeting, we will adopt a set of tax incentives to encourage taxpayers to pay their budgetary obligations.

The measures will be enforced, without discrimination, for individuals, private and state-owned companies, non-governmental organizations, public institutions and administrative-territorial units. We consider the approach on the following levels: companies with private, joint or state capital, which accumulated until the end of last year, outstanding budgetary obligations of over 1 million lei, can benefit, based on a restructuring plan, of a set of tax incentives, to maintain their viability and return to the economic circuit. In case of companies that accumulated debts under 1 million lei by the end of last year, will have their penalties and interest rates canceled, if they pay their main budgetary obligations until November 30, 2019. As regards individuals and entities without legal personality, the measure to cancel penalty and interest rates irrespective of the amount of debts accumulated to the state budget, is enforced, if they pay their main obligations until November 30, 2019. The measure can be enforced by other authorities and public institutions that administrate budgetary obligations, as well as by the administrative –territorial units for the taxpayers under their administration. The administrative –territorial units with debts to state budget will benefit from similar incentives if they pay their obligations until November 30, 2019.

At the same time, we need to encourage voluntary compliance and in this respect, the Public Finance Minister will come up with a solution to reward and encourage honest taxpayers who paid in due time their debts. There are support measures for taxpayers in difficulty on which we consulted with the business sector and the representatives of the local public administration associations, and which, I kindly ask you Minister Eugen Teodorovici, to present in detail at the end of the Cabinet meeting. We assure the funds necessary to implement the Programme for schools, for the 2019 -2020 school year, with nearly 1.9 million children as beneficiaries. Through this programme, the preschool children and pupils of the primary and secondary schools will benefit during breaks, of fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, bakery products, and will also learn about a healthy diet. The total value of the programme for schools, for the next school year amounts to nearly 540 million lei, money assured from the state budget and the European funds. It is a programme running for several years, appreciated by children and which we will implement further on. I will ask you Minister Ecaterina Andronescu to consider September 16 as the opening date of the school year. I am sure that it is a measure awaited by pupils in Romania. At the end of the meeting, the Government Spokesman will present the documents adopted in the meeting.

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