ECO-BUS WEEKLY DIGEST February March 13 - 19 Most important Economy & Business news by IPN

● TUESDAY, March 14

Moldova can come out of crisis a bit earlier than rest of Europe, IMF official

“What we see in Moldova is that Moldova is coming out of this crisis next year, probably a bit earlier than the rest of Europe. As Moldova was also affected by inflation and the effects of inflation earlier than the rest of Europe, the central bank took policy action earlier than the central banks in the rest of Europe, in order to stop inflation and to tame inflation,” Alfred Kammer, Director of the European Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated at the end of his three-day visit to Moldova, IPN reports.

“And we see now headline inflation coming down in Moldova already. And we saw already that the National Bank of Moldova could ease its monetary policy stance because of the successful fight with inflation. Inflation is not over. We need to sustain that effort,” the Director of the European Department of the IMF said in an interview for the National Bank of Moldova (NBM).

Gasoline COR 95 to cost 25 lei/liter Wednesday

A liter of gasoline COR 95 on Wednesday will be sold for 25 lei. The National Agency for Energy Regulation set the price ceiling for this type of fuel, which is by 0.02 lei higher than today, IPN reports.

Diesel fuel will cost at most 22.43 lei/liter, down 0.05 lei/liter on Tuesday.

The Agency assures the consumers in Moldova that the fuels at sold at correct pump prices that are determined based on the current methodology and are adjusted to the realities of the day.

Moldova will be able to use US$94m of current program with IMF

The Republic of Moldova will be able to access US$94 million of the current program with the International Monetary Fund. The agreement is expected to be approved by the IMF Executive Directors and management team by the end of April, Prime Minister Dorin Recean and the mission chief of the IMF for Moldova Ruben Atoyan announced in a press briefing following the completion of discussions with the Moldovan authorities in the context of the third review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements in Chisinau, IPN reports.

Dorin Recean said that they discussed the macroeconomic developments, the prospects and persisting risks, namely economic risks and risks related to an eventual rise in prices. The Moldovan authorities undertook to resolutely implement the program agreed with the IMF, especially as regards macroeconomic stability. This will help to primarily build a resilient economy with support from the development partners.

Resolute IMF program implementation remains critical, evaluators

Continued resolute implementation of the IMF program remains critical for creating a solid foundation for strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth, catalyzing external financing, and entrenching reform momentum, stated an IMF mission, led by Ruben Atoyan, on concluding a visit for the third review of Moldova’s program under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements.

While the Moldovan economy contracted significantly in 2022, reflecting spillovers from Russia’s war in Ukraine, a modest recovery is expected in 2023, the mission found, among other things.

Ruben Atoyan announced that a staff-level agreement was reached with the Moldovan authorities on economic policies to complete the third review under the ECF/EFF arrangements. The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s management and board, which is expected by the end of April. Completing the review will make SDR 70.95 million (about $94.40 million) available to Moldova, bringing total disbursements under the program to nearly $369.30 million (about SDR 277.55 million).

● WEDNESDAY, March 15

Chisinau to host National Financial Education Forum

The first National Financial Education Forum will take place in Moldova on March 21. This will kick off the designing of the National Financial Education Strategy. The event is staged by the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) to help the population acquire skills to efficiently manage their available incomes and to stimulate the economy to become stronger, IPN reports, quoting a press release of the central bank.

“We want a society that knows how to correctly manage the resources and in which each individual takes reasonable decisions with regard to their money. A strategy will systemize the actions taken by us all, from the authorities to the citizens, to build such a society, and will institutionalize training in the financial sector, will make this discussion on financial issues become permanent so that we help the citizens cope with dilemmas related to money and the economy to become stronger and more attractive for investments,” said NBM governor Octavian Armașu.

● THURSDAY, March 16

Current legislation leads to destruction of pisciculture in Moldova, associations

Pisciculture in the Republic of Moldova is being destroyed following the adoption of laws No. 64/2020, 318/2022 and 356/2022 the last few years, said representatives of the National Association of Fish Farmers of the Republic of Moldova and of the Association of Fish Producers, the Society of Hunters and Fishermen of Moldova and “Piscicola-Ivancea” SRL. To be heard, these addressed a letter to Prime Minister Dorin Recean.

In a news conference hosted by IPN, Gheorghe Gheorghiu, head of the National Association of Fish Farmers, said that a general assembly of fish farmers was held on Wednesday and involved representatives of the responsible ministries, Moldovan researchers, members of the Romfish National Association of Fish Producers of Romania. “In that assembly, we signed an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Dorin Recean and sent copies of this to the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture,” noted Gheorghe Gheorghiu.

Moldova needs a law on aquaculture, associations

Representatives of the National Association of Fish Farmers of the Republic of Moldova consider a law on aquaculture needs to be adopted. The Association’s head Gheorghe Gheorghiu said that this opinion was stated in the general assembly of fish farmers that involved representatives of the academia. According to them, the current legislation destroys pisciculture in Moldova.

“At the general assembly, we discussed a lot and decided to request the Ministry of Agriculture to start designing a new law, on aquaculture. This should be a separate law referring only to aquaculture as when the law consists of two parts, two ministries are tied and it is harder to work,” Gheorghe Gheorghiu stated in a news conference staged by IPN.

Fish farmers criticize elimination of caps on land tax and other local taxes

Fish farmers criticize the legal provisions by which the caps on the land tax and all the other local taxes were eliminated as from January 1. The circumstances create situations for acts of corruption, said representatives of the National Association of Fish Farmers of the Republic of Moldova, the Ungheni Association of Fish Producers, the Society of Hunters and Fishermen of Moldova and “Piscicola-Ivancea”.

In a news conference hosted by IPN, Victor Marahovschi, manager of “Piscicola-Ivancea” SRL, said the new provisions of Law No. 356/2022 enabled the local councils to limitlessly increase the tax rates on water surface (water mirror). Earlier, there was a fixed sum of 115 lei. “Imagine that in a village this rate is 115 lei, while in the neighboring villages it is 2,500 lei, 5,000 lei, 10,000 lei without any limitations,” exemplified Victor Marahovschi.

● FRIDAY, March 17

Victor Parlicov: Contract with Kuchurgan power plant will be renegotiated

The contract with the Kuchurgan power plant for the purchase of electrical energy will be renegotiated, said Minister of Energy Victor Parlicov. According to the official, Chisinau will try to obtain a smaller purchase price than the current price of US$73 per MW. But the constitutional authorities do not have illusions about a very low price as the Transnistrian region covers its deficit by selling electricity to the right side of the Nistru and the production manufactured by the Rybnitsa steel works, IPN reports.

The minister said that the delegation of the official Chisinau will try to negotiate a better purchase price of power, which will later influence the power rate for citizens down. The Ministry of Energy’s priority is to obtain a long-term contract.

Price of diesel fuel falls under 22 lei/liter for first time in past 12 months

The diesel fuel the next three days will be sold for at most 21.92 lei/liter, which is by 0.22 lei less than today. Gasoline COR 95 will cost 24.76 lei/liter, by 0.10 lei less, IPN reports.

The retail price ceilings for the main oil products of standard type were set for March 18-20 inclusive.

The National Agency for Energy Regulation said that after a period during which the regional oil market had been seriously impacted by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, the fuel prices now stabilize, returning to the level recorded at the start of last March.

Traders obliged to offer identical discounts regardless of payments type

Traders will have to offer identical discounts regardless of the means of payment preferred by buyers – cash or card. Also, within digital trade, the traders will be obliged to have goods change places. This is provided in a bill that was adopted by the MPs after giving a final reading to it, IPN reports.

The bill provides that the units practicing digital trade in precious metals will be freed from the obligation to possess an area of 12 square meters for performing commercial activities.

● SATURDAY, March 18

Energocom allocated transmission capacity on JAO European platform

The joint stock company Energocom was allocated cross-border transmission capacity on the JAO (Joint Allocation Office) platform. The company said that this way it extends the possibilities of buying electricity from any European country, IPN reports.

“This opens the way for new cooperation relations and we will this way be able to sign contracts with partners from other European states,” said Victor Bânzari, acting director of SA Energocom.

The JAO is a service company that hosts Europe’s single leading trading platform for cross-border transmission capacity. On behalf of TSOs, JAO auctions the available long and short-term transmission capacity rights on all internal EU borders.

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