ECO-BUS WEEKLY DIGEST April 5 - May 2. Most important Economy & Business news by IPN

● TUESDAY, April 27

MAZ wins tender contest to purchase 100 buses

The bidder MAZ was chosen the winner of the tender contest to buy 100 new buses for the Chisinau Urban Bus Company. According to Mayor General Ion Ceban, of the six bidders that took part in the second tender contest, MAZ submitted the most advantageous price-quality offer, which is €116,000 and a 72-month guarantee. Xiamen King Long and BMC Otomotiv wee disqualified as they didn’t present particular requested details. The bid of Temsa operator was rejected because it didn’t meet the stipulated requirements. The decision by which the municipality awarded the public procurement contract for the purchase of 100 buses to ISUZU was cancelled last November after other participants in the tender contest challenged the result. On February 25 this year, the municipality announced a new contest.

● WEDNESDAY, April 28

Maia Sandu: Administration of CFM consciously led enterprise to bankruptcy

The administration of “Moldova’s Railways” (CFM) intentionally led the state-owned enterprise to bankruptcy by corruption schemes, rigged procurement procedures, large-scale defrauding and appropriation actions. Corruption and the defective management of the enterprise are simultaneously the cause for the nonpayment of salaries to employees, President Maia Sandu stated in the meeting of the Supreme Security Council on April 27, IPN reports, quoting a press release of the presidential pores service. “It is an urgent and important subject that affects thousands of people and the country’s economy,” said President Sandu, explaining the necessity of addressing this problem as a priority. According to the official, the information presented in yesterday’s meeting of the SSC shows that the situation is serious. “While a group of thieves have been robbing the CFM enterprise for years, almost 7,000 people haven’t been paid salaries for over four months. While the people do not have what to maintain their families with, the started cases remain suspended, while someone’s pockets are filled with ill-gotten gains on account of the citizens,” stated Maia Sandu.

● THURSDAY, April 29

Moldova missed profit of €8.5bn owing to lack of irrigation systems, MP

During the past ten years, the Republic of Moldova failed to make a profit of €8.5 billion owing to the absence of irrigation systems. The cost of the given systems that became nonfunctional the last few years is of about 15 billion lei, according to estimates. The development of the sector is important given that 50% of the products exported by Moldova are agrifood ones, independent MP Alexandru Oleinic stated in a meeting centering on the development of the irrigation sector. According to the MP, the areas of irrigated farmland decreased considerably the last few years – from several hounded thousand hectares in 1990 to 17,000 hectares in 2020. The lack of a national irrigation system has an impact not only on the productivity of the agricultural sector, but also practically excludes the perspective of attracting investments in technologies and modern plantations.

Gasoline prices go up

A number of filling stations posted higher prices of gasoline. A liter of gasoline “95” now costs 20 lei. The new price per liter of gasoline “95” is 20 lei, while a liter of gasoline “98” costs 20.80 lei. At other oil companies, the price of gasoline “95” remained 19.25 lei, while gasoline “98” is sold for 20.29 lei. The prices of diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas remained unchanged for now. Fuel prices started to grow in the middle of last December and have risen for multiple times since then. These prices were also discussed in a meeting of the Supreme Security Council. At the beginning of March, the presidential administration submitted a denouncement over carter agreements on the fuels market to the Prosecutor General’s Office.

PPPDA: Formation of fuel prices was influenced by involvement of political factor

The Party “Dignity and Truth Platform” (PPPDA) came into possession of a report on the prices of oil products compiled by the Competition Council. According to the document, as a result of the investigation that covered the period between 2019 and 2021, the Competition Council ascertained that the process of forming the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel was influenced by the avidity of oil companies and the excessive involvement of the political factor, the leader of the PPPDA Andrei Năstase told a news conference. PPPDA vice president Alexandru Slusari said the report confirms the suspicions that the oil products market is not transparent and works based on cartel agreements and under the influence of the political factor. “In the period covered by the investigation, the enterprises modified the prices of the same assortment of products in the same period and by the same amount for about ten times. This practice in relation to the prices of the main oil products and of liquefied petroleum gas was implemented with the aim of maintaining the market shares and controlling the market,” said the MP, reading the report.

Three mayor’s office to issue first ever municipal bonds

Three mayor’s offices of the Republic of Moldova benefit from assistance in issuing the first eve municipal bonds in Moldova. These are the Chisinau City Hall, the Sângera mayor’s office and the mayor’s office of Ceadâr-Lunga municipality. The assistance is provided by experts of the Independent Think Tank “Expert-Grup” in the framework of the project “Local governmental bonds as a measure to increase local autonomy,” that is implemented with financial support from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Chisinau. “Expert-Grup” executive director Adrian Lupușor said that this is a new instrument for the Republic of Moldova, not yet for other countries of the region. “It is an instrument that offers an additional possibility to the local public authorities to mobilize financial resources for capital investments. This way, we aim to support, in a practical way, three mayor’s offices that were chosen at a contest to issue municipal bonds. We offer them support at all the stages of the process,” stated Adrian Lupușor.

● FRIDAY, April 30

In 2020, revenues on cards were higher than those in cash, expert

Moldovans’ incomes on cards in 2020 were higher than those in cash. Even if the bank cards are used as a means for withdrawing money from ATMs for current costs, card payments follow an upward trend. The online market in Moldova was absent ten years ago, but now it became significant. During many years, the card payments came to 200-300 million lei a year, but now the payments come to 9 billion lei, said Veaceslav Ioniță, expert in economic policies at the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul”. In an edition of his program “Economic analyses with Veaceslav Ioniță”, the expert said the bank cards in the Republic of Moldova were introduced 25 years ago. Then the people were not aware of the existence of cards, but now almost everyone has a bank card. In 2020, for the first time the people’s incomes obtained on card were higher than those in cash – 72bn lei as opposed to 68bn lei.

NBM keeps base rate on main monetary policy operations at 2.65%

The base rate on the main short-term monetary policy operations remained at the level of 2.65% a year. The interest rate on overnight loans was maintained at 5.15% annually, while that on overnight deposits at 0.15% annually. The monetary policy decision was adopted by a unanimous vote by the Executive Board of the National Bank of Moldova on April 30. The mandatory reserves attracted in Moldovan lei and in non-convertible currency, for the period between May 16, 2021 and June 15, 2021, were decreased by 2 percentage points to 26% of the calculation basis, while the mandatory reserves attracted in freely convertible currency was kept at 30% of the calculation basis.

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