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Document / Where is money that Government is trying to squeeze out of private sector: 36% of debts are in state-owned companies. And PSD

de Mariana Bechir , 12.11.2017

A total of 10 state-owned companies or owned by the public administration account for over 36% of the total outstanding social contributions at September 30, 2017.

The data appear in the list of debtors, legal entities with outstanding tax obligations to the social insurance budgets, a document made public by the Ministry of Finance to justify the transfer of social contributions to the employee.

Most of them are historical debts and some of the companies have been liquidated long time ago.

The champion is Compania Nationala a Huilei, from which the “viable part” became in 2011 Societatea Nationala a Huilei. The latter took over the employees but not the debts of the company that went into liquidation in 2013 – in 2014, these debts to the consolidated state budget amounted to over one billion euros (RON 4.785 billion).

Societatea Nationala a Huilei merged then, in 2013 and at Victor Ponta government’s initiative, with Societatea Complexul Energetic Oltenia and formed SC Combinatul Energetic Oltenia.

At the time of the merger by absorption, the energy division (Societatea Complexul Energetic) had debts of nearly RON 566 million, and the mining division (Societatea Huilei) – almost RON 115 million.

At September 30, 2017, Combinatul Energetic Oltenia owes the state RON 431.329 million only for the employees’ social contributions.

Former employees of Compania Nationala a Huilei did not remain without contributions to the pension insurance system, as Minister of Finance, Ionut Misa, insinuated. On the contrary, the miners’ pensions are among the biggest in the country.

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  • Situation of largest 500 debtors, legal entities with outstanding tax obligations to the social insurance budgets registered at September 30, 2017, and not paid at the moment of their publication on the website
  • Total outstanding tax obligations to the social insurance budgets registered to the account of taxpayers, legal entities published on the website                      Region            Outstanding fiscal obligations representing social contributions

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Also, Regia Autonoma pentru Activitati Nucleare (RAAN) Mehedinti, producer of heavy water needed to operate nuclear power plants, went into bankruptcy proceedings last year, starting June 14, 2016, through the final decision of Craiova Court of Appeal.

Among the first 10 debtors are also Regia Autonoma de Transport Public Iasi and Centrala Electrica de Termoficare Iasi, both subordinated to the Mayor’s Office.

CET Iasi defaulted in 2011 and the insolvency procedure started in 2012. Last year, it showed debts amounted to RON 561 million.

The plant’s assets have been brought into the use of the new heating operator in Iasi, Veolia, and the Mayor’s Office went through a trial for the assets for five years.

The full list of debtors also includes PSD Bucharest, with arrears of RON 78.879 for pension contributions and RON 27.441 for health insurance contributions.

Government re-criminalizes contribution non-payment

The Ministry of Finance announced this week the intention to amend the Law on preventing and combating tax evasion to criminalize the non-payment of taxes and contributions withheld from the employees’ income to the budget.

The text that criminalized this act (Article 6 of the Law on evasion) has been declared unconstitutional by a CCR decision in 2015 on the grounds that the provision in question did not meet the constitutional exigencies on the quality of the law, namely it did not meet the clarity, precision, predictability and accessibility requirements.

Since then, the government officials have not changed the text, so that the deed remains an offense.

One of the measures announced last days provides for the reintroduction of that article but in a new wording, so that the act – withholding from the income paid to the income beneficiaries (for instance, employees) by the income taxpayers (for instance, employers) of taxes and contributions and not paying these amounts to the budget – to become a crime again and be punished with imprisonment.

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