WORLD BANK TO RELEASE USD50MN FOR AGRICULTURE
The parliamentary Budgetary and Finance Commission has approved ASAL II, the second loan for restructuting of agriculture in Bulgaria, to be extended by the World Bank. The contract will be ratified by the National Assembly after its summer recess. The credit, worth USD50MN, is intended to cover the State's expenses for the land reform in the country, for privatisation of agricultural and food industry enterprises, for creation of better conditions for trade in agricultural products, and for the development of local irrigation networks.
The loan is a continuation of ASAL I, lent to Bulgaria in September 1999. Then the international financial institution allocated USD75.76MN to this country, which was 50% up from the initially promised amount. The loan was for 20 years, including a 5-year grace period for the repayment of principal. The negotiation of ASAL I became possible only after the privatisation of 66% of the assests of enterprises, owned by the Ministry of Agriculture, and of 85% of the food manufacturers' assets.
ASAL II was voted by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors on June 28, 2001. The project is managed by the international financial institution's representative Henry Gordon.