SHOULEVA FOUND IN THE BUDGET BGL100MN?
Don't worry. There will be no problem at all regarding the BGL20MN, which is necessary for the establishment of a guarantee fund for micro-crediting. We have the money in the budget. Such a reassuring statement was made by Deputy Premier and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Lidiya Shouleva to the BANKER weekly, confirming that the Government's fight with unemployment, which becomes a major priority in the Ministry's social policy, was financially secured.
The guarantee fund for micro-crediting, which will be operating as of October 1, was assessed this week as one of the most urgent government measures for improving the life of the electorate. It will not be a burden to the Treasury because the BGL20MN in it have been planned in the 2001 budget, but have not been utilized so far, Ms. Sholeva explained.
Surprisingly, the new Minister of Labour and Social Affairs found out BGL100MN in the State budget, earmarked for employment programmes. At the same time, the Vocational Training and Unemployment Fund (VTUF) is short of BGL70MN to finance programmes for opening new working positions. For that reason the VTUF doesn't have a budget for 2001 yet. Where is the BGL100MN then, which Ms. Shouleva imagines, the BANKER weekly asked her.
The money is in the budget. A large part of it - BGL40-60MN - was even spent, Ms. Shouleva told BANKER. The problem is that the VTUF demands these BGL70MN additionally.
Indeed, BGL100MN for the VTUF is included in the calculations o the National Employment Service (NES). But this is the money, required by the employment offices for opening of new working positions if no limits are set by the budget. That's why the amount is included in the draft budget of the NES. But Ms. Shouleva said that such an amount is planned and extended each year for temporary employment, which is practically inefficient and brings no returns at all.
The BGL60MN also tally as far as approximately such an amount has been approved by the former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Ivan Neikov for employment programmes since the beginning of this year. However, Mr. Neikov demanded BGL72MN for their realization from the ex-finance minister Muravey Radev, and the State budget never released the money. The VTUF, on its part, remained without a budget. Ms. Shouleva insisted to the NES for the same money on July 27, three days after assuming her duties, when she and the Finance Minsiter Milen Velchev met with Supervisory Board members of the VTUF. And now, surprisingly, the Deputy Premier Shouleva found the money as planned in the budget and not utilized.
Due to the inefficiency of the employment programmes, so far carried out they will be reconsidered, Ms. Shouleva said. The focus of the new time will be on measures that would guarantee permanent and lasting, and not temporary employment. The guarantee fund for micro-crediting is, accoring to the new government team, one of the possible options. The idea is that through the fund the State will make easier access to financial resource people, intending to make business.