The joint Standing Bureaus of the Parliament on Tuesday Okayed Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea’s request to kick off parliamentary inquiry to probe into the last state budget rectifications in August and November last year conducted by the previous Gov’t led by Dacian Ciolos, the lower chamber secretary, SocDem Marcel Ciolacu announced.
Social Democrat Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea said on Sunday that he will consult with the Social-Democrats to decide the possible initiation of a parliament inquiry committee, considering that the 2017 budget has a gap worth around RON 10 to 14 billion. Former PM Ciolos, ex-Finance minister Anca Dragu dismissed allegations.
“More precisely, the goal of the inquiry is to check how the state budget rectifications had been made, to hear all the involved persons, who can provide information and clarifications on this topic,” Ciolacu explained.
He went on saying that the inquiry committee will want to know how the potential incomes have been constituted to enable a positive rectification, what are the state institutions that made predictions on these incomes, what did the total incomes of the general consolidated budget mount to on December 31, 2016, etc. Senators and deputies will also probe into how much was the income unfulfilled from the 2017-2020 EU money at 2016-end and what are the sums each ministry has not managed to spend from its own budget on from the European funds and how much was not spent on staff expenses.
According to the SocDem secretary of the lower chamber, the committee has to draft a report within ten days since the Parliament’s plenary sitting gives its go-ahead for such an inquiry. The two speakers of the Parliament will establish next week when the joint plenary sitting is to give its vote to start the inquiry.
The new minister of Finances, Viorel Stefan, attending the sitting of the Budget-Finances Committee in the lower chamber on Tuesday, said that the RON 10bn gap in the state budget is generated by the “politicizing” budgetary projections and that an audit by the Romanian Court of Accounts is also needed to check on the legality and opportunity of the two budgetary rectifications operated by the Ciolos Gov’t.
“Against the initial upgraded projection through the two budgetary rectifications, the one in August and the other in November, one can notice that RON 10 billion have not been made on incomes. The matter is extremely serious, but has a technical feature on the other hand, that’s why I think (…) an audit by the Court of Accounts is needed to probe into the legality and opportunity conditions where these rectifications have been made,” the FinMin argued.