CENTRAL HEATING FACILITY TO OFFER SERVICES OF HIGHER QUALITY
Mr. Andrew Vorkink, the World Bank Country Director for Bulgaria, and Mr. Milen Velchev, the Bulgarian Minister of Finance, signed agreements for launching three credits on projects supporting the structural reform in Bulgaria, on June 18. The projects are part of the World Bank Country Assistance Strategy that envisages USD750MN in support of the country's reform agenda through 2004.The first loan agreement stipulates the launching of EUR31.9MN for the development of a modern and effective revenue collection system. As a result, private companies will be able to save time and resources. The project was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on June 5, 2003. It will provide an equal playing field for businesses and minimize opportunities for corruption. The system ultimately intends to create opportunities to lower direct tax and insurance rates in line with the Government's economic policy, which in term will help accelerate economic growth and opening of new working positions. Andrew Vorkink and representatives of the central heating facilities of Sofia and Pernik, Doncho Stanev and Ignat Bozhinov, signed one guarantee agreement and two loan agreements, earmarked for Pernik. The financing for the Sofia heating company project amounts to EUR29MN. USD7MN will be provided for the Rehabilitation of the Pernik Heating System project. The implementation of these projects will accelerate the urgent stabilisation activities in the heating companies and will thus reduce the waste of energy and water. The district heating companies rehabilitation project is part of the 2000-2005 Strategy for Development of the Central Heating Supply. It aims at improving the efficiency of the heating transportation, distribution, and consumption. We are proud we can support activities that will lead to better conservation of the environment and to lower energy consumption. Besides, these activities will protect the right of consumers to get services of higher quality, Andrew Vorkink said.Bulgaria has been is a member of the World Bank since 1990. The total World Bank commitments for our country to date are approximately USD1.784MN for 33 projects.