The Finance Ministry has proposed a reduction of the minimum investment threshold needed for a company to be able to receive state help from EUR 10 million to EUR 3 million, in order to allow small companies – and Romanian companies in particular – to be able to benefit from financial support to develop their business.
Finance minister Eugen Teodorovici announced on Tuesday evening that the agenda of the government meeting on Thursday will include a Decision project related to state help schemes.
According to the minister, companies that will want to invest in projects in regions that are less developed will be able to benefit from a state help scheme through a project that will have a budget of RON 683 million this year.
“The main objectives of such a state help scheme are related to attracting large investments in less developed regions, to bringing advanced technologies, innovative products and, implicitly, new jobs. Another very important element is that we will lower the minimum threshold for investment from EUR 10 million to EUR 3 million, in order to allow smaller companies and particularly Romanian companies to receive this type of financial support to develop projects. This was a very clear request from the business environment. The scheme’s budget is EUR 145 million a year, but for this year we have a budget of RON 638 million, this means the annual allocation plus what hasn’t been applied until now. The total budget for this project is RON 1.8 billion, which can grow if we notify the European Commission,” said Teodorovici.
Other changes proposed by the Ministry relate to the financing agreement requests that will be submitted continuously for the ongoing year and not in 30 day sessions as it happened until now. Also, the points-based selection may be changed and replaced by selection based on requests that meet the eligibility criteria. At the same time, the Ministry wants the Investment plan to be included in the Business plan and structured on three active categories: constructions, machinery, equipment; technological lines; intangible assets.
Another change is that the economic operator can begin their investment project after the submission of the financing agreement request, at a certain date, according to the business plan. Currently, the investment projects can only be started after obtaining the financing agreement. The requirement to submit the financing request after the company proves it has paid its dues to the state will also be removed, and this requirement will have to be met when the company submits the payment request for state help.
According to Teodorovici, until now 11 projects worth a total of RON 2.5 billion have been approved for state help scheme based on the old legal provisions. He also said that companies in insolvency, bankruptcy, legal restructuring, dissolution and other similar situations won’t be able to apply for state help.