Transportation minister of Romania wants to speed up infrastructure works by demanding a raise with 90 per cent in the ministry’s budget for 2010. This year, some 45 km of motorway have been built, Nine o'Clock reports.
“I have asked for more than RON 19 bln., by 90 per cent more than this year”, Radu Berceanu said last weekend.
He told a press conference that he was planning to raise the investment budgets in several sectors. Thus, the proposition for 2010 addressing railway transport considers RON 3.7 bln., double as against the amount initially approved for this year, RON 1.8 bln. Also, regarding subsidies for passengers, the Minister said that he wanted funds amounting to RON 1.2 bln., compared to RON 678 M earmarked this year.
Another raise refers to the investment level of state run companies, where the Ministry proposed EUR 1 bln. to be earmarked in 2010 compared to RON 576.8 M in 2009.
Berceanu said that he had talks on these amounts with Finance Minister and with PM and he presented them all the arguments related in particular to the pattern used in other states. The Minister added that everywhere else within the EU, funds are earmarked for state investments within the railway infrastructure which belongs to it.
In addition, MTI plans to finalize 90 km of motorway next year, a level planned also in 2009, but which has only been achieved at half. This is a reason why Berceanu claims he asked for 2010 a budget that accounts for 3.5 per cent of GDP.
“Compared to the project we had, this year we achieved less. We lag behind by 40 – 50 km”, Berceanu said. Berceanu added that Romania could have 2,000 km of motorways in 20 years, which is possible both technically and economically speaking.
“If you need a brief answer, I should tell you how many km are wished. Hence, to wish means how much money is made available for the accomplishment of this wish by Romania, and when I say Romania, I refer to the officials who make propositions and the Parliament who votes them and you, mass media, and through you, public opinion, who puts pressure. If all these things are done, or we can do all these for better, then we can definitely have, I do not know, maybe 2,000 km of motorways in 20 years, this is likely. In technical terms, and in economic terms also, this is likely”, according to the Minister, in answer to a question related to the number of km available in 20 years.
He said that conditional upon the Government earmarking, over the next three years, EUR 2 bln. annually, at the end of this time period, 500 km could be completed and other 2 – 300 km in progress, “nearly completed”.
“But if EUR 500 M shall be made available, as it happened this year, then we shall one quarter”, Berceanu said.
Minister said that the level proposed in the governing program, 836 km, is the peak to be accomplished in four years. “This is maximum of what one could do, no matter who is in power, based on objective and technical rationales”, according to Berceanu.
Transport Minister dismissed on Friday the general directors of CFR Calatori and CFR Infrastructura and he appointed interim directors the former deputy directors. Thus, at CFR Calatori, Liviu Pescarasu replaced Laurentiu Stoica, and at CFR Infrastructura, Viorel Scurtu became director general replacing Ion Garoseanu. The two interim directors were part of the boards of CFR Calatori and CFR Infrastructura prior to being appointed.
The replacements took place “following parts agreement” and the appointments are apolitical, resulting “young teams”, as Berceanu said in a press conference.
He did not specify the reasons for replacing the two directors, appointed also by Berceanu.