Romania's Economy Ministry will start over its investment grants scheme for SMEs
The selection procedures for distributing investment grants worth EUR 50,000 - 200,000 to Romanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will start over, and all the candidates must re-register, economy minister Claudiu Nasui announced.
The Government will also revise the selection criteria on this occasion.
The investment grants scheme has a total budget of EUR 550 million, out of which EUR 478 mln comes from the European Union's budget.
The scheme, launched last year by the Liberal Government of prime minister Ludovic Orban, was blocked at the beginning of this year due to irregularities related to the selection process and the scope of the financed investments. Minister Nasui notified the prosecutors, who are running investigations, while the Social Democrat opposition accused the minister of blocking the selection procedures by interfering with the process.
Speaking about this scheme's relaunch, minister Nasui added that it would not finance real estate investments under the new selection criteria.
"At the moment, we are discussing in the coalition to re-launch this measure. [We want it] to be done on a fair basis, without real estate projects," Claudiu Nasui told Economedia.ro.
He added that "subjective" criteria, such as the level of co-financing, will be replaced with others, such as the number of jobs created.
(Photo source: Gov.ro)