The public money earmarked for the 11 national programmes of the Romanian Ministry for SMEs, Commerce and Business Milieu has been halved to RON 22 million from 2008, although there have been promises that the SMEs will be allocated RON 100 million, Chairman of the CNIPMMR National Council of Romanian Private Small and MediumSized Enterprises Ovidiu Nicolescu told a news conference on 20th March.
The worst affected is the programme for the trade of market products and services, for which only RON 7.3 million was extended.
The other 10 programmes are also affected by the 2009 fund cuts.
Among them are START for young managers, which received only RON 5 million; the programme for increased competitiveness through innovations, with just RON 1.4 million; the assistance programme for crafts people – RON 1.2 million; the assistance programme for female managers, which got only RON 450,000; the programme for reinvested profit, financed with just RON 3.2 million; the support programme for business incubators, which has to make do with RON 2 million; the consulting programme for microenterprises – only RON 1.2 million and the programmes for business transfer, funded with just RON 200,000.
‘On the other hand, the financing schemes under the National Rural Development Programme of SMEs in areas such as bakery, sweets and the wood industry no longer apply in 2009,’ said Nicolescu. CNIPMMR voiced protest at the halving of the budget for the Ministry for SMEs, Commerce and Business Milieu and the allocation in this year of crisis of insufficient amounts for the 11 programmes for SMEs.
They are urging the Government to observe the pledges taken under Chapter XI – Competitiveness, the business milieu and the SMEs from the Government Programme approved under Parliament’s Decision 31/2008 and the allocation of at least 0.5 percent of the GDP for financing development projects and assistance measures for the establishment of new SMEs.