Veronica Sirețeanu: Budgetary-fiscal policy should be presented without delay or panic is created

The presentation of the budgetary-fiscal policy with a delay generates panic. The Republic of Moldova should learn from the practice of other states that follow a more predictable path, Veronica Sirețeanu, deputy director for advocacy and business development at the American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.

She said that any fiscal and customs policy document should be based on clear principles, such as tax certainty, tax equity, fiscal efficiency, fiscal stability and tax neutrality.

“There are five important principles that should lay at the basis of any fiscal policy. Undoubtedly, the small and medium-sized enterprises are the engine of economic development from the viewpoint of the initiatives, adaptability to strategies. These enterprises should be supported and the state does it by different projects. At the same time, when a fiscal norm is proposed, we want to be sure that it will have an impact on the whole economy, either we speak about the zero profit rate or accelerated amortization,” stated Veronica Sirețeanu.

As to the impediments placed by the proposed budgetary-fiscal policy for next year to economic development, the expert said that several concepts were intensely discussed with the public authorities, including the introduction of transfer pricing and the new customs code.

“The Republic of Moldova is the only country in the region that didn’t implement the transfer pricing mechanism. This implies that when two companies of the same group trade, they soul do it at the market price, not at smaller prices. Together with the obtaining of the EU candidate status, we will have to implement this concept. We have many questions over the concept proposed by the authorities. The concept often specified that it will happen in the way decided by the government, but we could not know what the government will decide,” she stated.

Veronica Sirețeanu said many new concepts of the budgetary-fiscal policy are good on paper, but it will be hard to implement them. That’s why more time is needed for the business community and the other categories concerned to adjust to the new rules and mechanisms.

It was asked that the new customs code should start to be applied a year later as time is needed to test all the mechanisms. If the wishes are taken into account, the new customs code will take effect on January 1, 2024, not on January 1, 2023.

Speaking about the measures to support salary earners, Veronica Sirețeanu said that even if the state is the largest employer in Moldova, competitive salaries to prevent the people from going abroad to work are offered by the private sector. It is very important that those who design the budgetary-fiscal policy should assess the impact on everyone, on those from the private sector and on those from the public sector.

“It’s very good that we speak about particular elements that form part of the social package. We can speak about those meal vouchers whose value was raised. Another very courageous bill is related to alternative childcare services, when mothers can go to work and leave the children in the care of crèches or specialized persons. It goes to aid for the unemployed for the cold period of the year,” said Veronica Sirețeanu, noting they expected yet that particular elements of the fiscal policy will be aimed at the unofficial payment of salaries, but these are absent.

The public debate entitled “Budgetary-fiscal policy and budget for 2023: form and content in approach” was the 270th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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