Igor Munteanu: Filip government orchestrated the reorganization of the walnut market

The collapse of prices, high unofficial taxes for exporters and intimidation of walnut production and export companies were orchestrated by the Filip government. Since 2016, the Moldovan walnut market has shrunk. The statements were made by the chairman of the Committee for economy, budget and finance, Igor Munteanu, at a press conference.

"Between 2015 and 2016, five large companies were operating on the market. In December 2016, certain members of the Filip government claimed a larger share of the market”, said Igor Munteanu. The MP pointed out that the Filip government created a task group, which implemented a series of measures under the pretext of identifying unjustified VAT refunds, smuggling, tax evasion and forgeries in procurement documents.

"Companies operating on the walnut market were sanctioned for purchasing batches of walnuts without having the so-called "procurement documents", which triggered smuggling and tax evasion accusations", said the MP.

Igor Munteanu claimed that, during 2016 and 2017, several state control bodies blocked the activity of companies specialized in walnut exports. "Thousands of tons of walnuts were seized, several people were detained, while the shock waves of the interventions by control authorities caused a considerable imbalance in the walnut export market", said the Committee chairman.

Igor Munteanu called on all control bodies to put an end to any kind of abuse and asked the walnut exporters to comply with lawful procurement practices and to offer a fair price, so that the walnut producers would stop cutting down plantations.

Attending the press conference, MP Alexandru Slusari, said that the walnut market is changing and that the cultivators will soon feel this change. "The exports from the agro-industrial sector will be monitored by the Parliament and the prices will correspond to the real income of the cultivators" Alexandru Slusari assured.

In response to the statements, the PDM chairperson, Pavel Filip, wrote on his personal Facebook page that the topic of walnuts appears in public discourse before the elections. "A commission was set up at the Ministry of Agriculture. It did not find anything, so the government took over the investigation. Because, once again, they found nothing, the Parliament took over investigation. This is done so that the MPs can declare everything, without taking responsibility", wrote Pavel Filip.

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