CMC accused over prejudicial privatisations

A number of plots in Chisinau Municipality are privatised with the consent of the communist and Christian-democrat councillors to the detriment of the General Urban Plan (GUP), Mihai Roscovan, municipal councillor representing the Social Action Bloc (BAS), told Info-Prim Neo. On the other hand, the accused parties deny the allegations. Roscovan complains that besides the mindless dissipation of public land the most worrying fact is that one month after GUP was approved, the Chisinau Municipal Council (CMC) takes decisions that contravene this document and the Industrial Parks Law, recently approved by the Government. BAS councillor gave the example of a 20ha plot located in Ciocana district that was recently allotted to a well-known company by CMC due to the vote of the communist faction and of the Christian-democrat councillors. In his words, GUP projected the “TechnoPolis” Park on this territory for developing advanced technologies and providing people with jobs, for which the European Union was ready to grant 5 million euros under a project already drown up. Roscovan reminded that at a single CMC meeting held in late 2006, there were authorised for privatisation plots of land covering a total of 45ha for MDL 5 million, while their market value could have reached MDL 800 million. “Generally speaking, more than a half of the municipal budget was gifted in a single day”, Roscovan emphasised. Because of the legislative shortcomings, he says, the CMC communist faction allows dormant companies to buy public land in the municipality at extremely low prices. Although the legislation places these plots of land under the municipality’s ownership, their prices, particularly in the privatisation process, are established by the Government. Therefore, in case of fraudulent privatisations accepted by CMC, the prices of the land set by the Government in compliance with the Privatisation Law are ten-, hundred-, or even thousand-fold below the market price. “This is a scheme that the interested clans often employ”, the councillor explained. Roscovan insists that these plots must be used in agreement with the General Urban Plan, which explicitly arranges industrial parks, public buildings, houses, social dwellings. Referring to the way of parcelling the land, Roscovan says that public institutions may take land for temporary use, while plots for private house builders must be allocated via auctions. As for the decisions on certifying private ownership of land, Roscovan said that most of them are in compliance with the legislation that allows businessmen to privatise the land adjacent to the enterprises. However, of those nearly 700 such requests submitted to CMC, the communist faction selects those enterprises that are supported by the central authorities or certain councillors. Such draft decisions enter the CMC meeting agenda not in the order they were submitted, but in accordance to partisan or personal preferences. Roscovan affirms that illegalities of this kind were also committed in the past by the City Hall and the Municipal Council that favoured personal or group interests. These decisions would provide a more than enough piece of information to be dealt with by the future Municipal Council, by the General Prosecutor’s Office and anti-corruption bodies. When asked to comment on BAS councillor’s statements, the leader of the communist faction in the CMC Svetlana Popa admitted that Roscovan might be not aware of the fact that the privatised plot in Ciocana district is adjacent to the buildings that the respective company owns in that zone. Thus, in line with the legislation in effect, CMC had the legal right to authorise its privatisation. The same opinion was shared by the leader of the PPCD faction Eugenia Starcea. She told Info-Prim Neo that as far as she is concerned all the plots authorised for privatisation are adjacent to private-owned buildings. “Factually, I see no reason for which the CMC could have disallowed its privatisation”, Starcea concluded.
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