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GOVERNMENT MAKES SOME PROGRESS IN ACTIONS AGREED
WITH IMF, BUT THERE IS STILL MUCH TO DO - SAYS RUGGIERO

Chisinau-04.06.2003/14:37:25/(BASA-economic) The Moldovan government
has made some progress in actions agreed with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), but there is still much to do, IMF Resident
Representative Edgardo Ruggiero said at a news conference on
occasion of the arrival of a new IMF mission to Chisinau.

The government has amended the state budget law and the social
insurance budget to adjust them to the agreed terms, but these
changes need to be approved at negotiations with the mission, he
said. There is a draft amendment to the law on preshipment
inspection, which is accepted by everybody, but the parliament
has not examined yet, Ruggiero stressed.

The IMF official said that the preshipment inspection is not the
key-issue in the negotiation process, its importance was
exaggerated, but negotiation on this issue should be resumed
before the IMF Managing Board presents its report.

According to him, the Fund's experts still have to assess the cost
of the new administrative-territorial reform. "The government claims
it will save money, but we doubt these claims. Even the purchase of
some paper cases, stamps and other office supplies, means some
spending," Ruggiero stressed.

Asked what is the most difficult problem, the IMF resident
representative said that the Fund is particularly concerned about
decisions leading to and increase in public spending. He referred to
the indexation of pensions, which was is an action contrary to
agreements with the World Bank.

"The problem is that decisions are taken first, and then the
government looks funds to cover them," Ruggiero continued.

In his opinion, resumption of the World Bank's financial assistance
for Moldova is important. If the Bank does not disburse the second
tranche of the SAC-III, the budgetary deficit will widen even more.

An IMF mission is expected Wednesday to Chisinau to study on June
5-18 the performance of the government under its obligations assumed
for the disbursement of an ordinary tranche from the credit within
the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility mechanism.

The mission's head, Marta Castello-Branco, the IMF's chief
negotiator for Moldova, is expected in Chisinau on June 9.

Ruggiero said that the mission will to its best to reach an
agreement with the government.

"If the mission arrives, we consider the negotiations will be
successful, but we do not guarantee this success," Ruggiero added.

Asked to make some forecasts, the IMF official said that if the
sides do not reach an agreement and the assistance for Moldova
remains under lock, Moldova will miss significant funds from the
World Bank and the European Union and will have to cut down the
public spending. If the mission's conclusions are favourable to
Chisinau, the financing will resume in July.


IMF RESIDENT CONSIDERS THAT DRAFTING OF NEW LAW ON
ENTREPRENEURSHIP LICENCE WILL DISCOURAGE SMALL BUSINESSES

Chisinau-04.06.2003/14:50:37/(BASA-business) The resident
representatives of the International Monetary Fund in Moldova,
Edgardo Ruggiero, told a news conference on Wednesday that the
intended drafting of a new concept on entrepreneurship license will
discourage the small-sized businesses and will drive many to
embrace underground economic activities. "This will be a step
backward. It will badly hit the small entrepreneurs," the IMF
official feared.

Early in May, the government rejected a proposal of the Economics
Ministry to prohibit the licensed street trade and to remove some
services that can be offered now on the licence grounds.

The cabinet suggested to draft a new concept of the law on
entrepreneurship license.


GUVERNUL A FACUT PROGRESE IN REALIZAREA ACTIUNILOR CONVENITE CU FMI, DAR MAI EXISTA PROBLEME NEREZOLVATE, SUSTINE EDGARDO RUGGIERO

Chisinau-04.06.2003/14:37:25/(BASA-economic) Guvernul a inregistrat
progrese in realizarea actiunilor convenite cu Fondul Monetar
International, dar mai are mult de facut pentru a duce lucrurile pana
la capat, a declarat miercuri rezidentul FMI la Chisinau, Edgardo
Ruggiero, intr-o conferinta de presa tinuta cu ocazia sosirii
la Chisinau a misiunii Fondului.

"Au fost elaborate modificari la legea bugetului de stat si bugetul
asigurarilor sociale in vederea ajustarii acestora la cerintele
convenite, dar aceste modificari vor fi aprobate dupa consultari cu o
misiune tehnica. Exista un proiect de amendare a legii cu privire la
expeditie, acceptat de toti, dar acest proiect deocamdata nu a fost
examinat si adoptat de Parlament", a subliniat Edgardo
Ruggiero.

Reprezentantul Fondului a spus ca problema inspectiei inainte de
expeditie nu este cea mai importanta in procesul de negocieri, "s-a
exagerat atunci cand s-a vrobit despre importanta ei", insa
inspectia ar trebui sa fie reluata pana la prezentarea raportului
de evaluare Consiliului de directori al FMI.

Potrivit rezidentului FMI, mai ramane sa se vada daca s-au facut
cheltuieli pentru reforma administrativ-teritoriala. "Guvernul
sustine ca vor fi economisite mijloace, noi insa avem indoieli in
aceasta privinta. Chiar si procurarea unor mape, stampile, alta
birotica, fara care este imposibila activitatea unui oficiu,
implica cheltuieli", a spus Ruggiero.

Intrebat care este cea mai complicata problema, rezidentul FMI a spus
ca o deosebita ingrijorare provoaca deciziile ce conduc la cresterea
cheltuielilor publice. In context el a facut referinta la indexarea
pensiilor, care s-a facut altfel decat s-a convenit cu Banca
Mondiala.

"Problema e ca mai intai se iau deciziile, apoi se cauta resurse
de acoperire", a estimat Edgardo Ruggiero.

In opinia acestuia, reluarea finantarii Republicii Moldova de catre
Banca Mondiala este cardinala. In cazul in care BM nu va acorda
transa urmatoare din SAC-III se va forma o discrepanta intre
venituri si cheltuieli.

Misiunea FMI va sosi miercuri pentru a analiza, in perioada 5-18
iunie, programul convenit cu Guvernul si indeplinirea criteriilor
de performanta necesare acordarii transei ordinare din creditul
privind Mecanismul de Reducere a Saraciei si Crestere Economica.
ўefa misiunii, Marta Castello-Branco, negociatorul principal al
FMI in relatia cu Republica Moldova va sosi la Chisinau
la 9 iunie.

Edgardo Ruggiero a spus ca misiunea va incerca sa ajunga la un acord
cu Guvernul, care putea fi realizat in octombrie 2002 in cazul in
care ar fi fost indeplinite toate conditiile asupra carora s-a
convenit.

"Daca vine misiunea, consideram ca ea ar putea sa aiba succes, insa
nu garantam acest succes", a spus Edgardo Ruggiero.

Solicitat sa faca unele pronosticuri, rezidentul FMI a estimat ca
in cazul in care nu se va ajunge la un acord si nu va fi deblocata
finantarea, Republica Moldova nu va primi sume importante de la Banca
Mondiala si Uniunea Europeana si va trebui sa reduca cheltuielile
bugetare. In caz daca concluziile misiunii vor fi favorabile
Chisinaului, finantarea va fi deblocata nu mai devreme de
luna iulie.