World Bank experts awaited in Bucharest to examine progress

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A World Bank team is awaited to arrive in Bucharest today or tomorrow to examine the progress made by Romania, chief economist of the World Bank’s Bucharest-based Office Catalin Pauna said on Tuesday.

The World Bank experts will visit Bucharest to evaluate the progress made by Romania as part of the agreement forged with the international institution.
‘In my personal opinion, there is some progress, but it must be evaluated by the World Bank delegates, who are to arrive in Bucharest today or tomorrow. Then a report will be drawn up to be submitted to the World Bank’s Board of Directors, as it is the only one that can decide to disburse an amount for one of the three agreed upon accords,’ Pauna explained.

With respect to the flexibility the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are showing towards Romania now, given that the delegations of the two international lenders visit Bucharest before a new government is formed, Pauna stressed that ‘during a global crisis it is natural for the big international financers to show flexibility’.
The World Bank’s Office chief economist said that as far as the Romanian taxation is concerned, there is a problem with the collection, not with the size of the flat tax.

‘Maybe the labour-related taxes are high and it would be difficult to raise them. Maybe the taxes that should curb the costs of the transactions among companies are the ones that should be diminished, but here too we should take into account how much the state budget can take when it comes to diminished revenues’, he said.
According to Pauna, the Romanian state sector is not big, but it is in keeping with what is happening in the emerging economies.

The state sector in these economies is smaller than in the western European countries, but in these states it is known exactly where the money from the budget goes, he added.
The World Bank will give Romania one billion euros as part of a package of loans meant to support the country worth a total 19.95 billion euros from the IMF, the European Commission and the World Bank. The one billion euros is going to be disbursed under three different agreements, with the first part worth 330 million euros having been disbursed in September.

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