Kosovo government approved the draft law on Trepca
Pristina, 5 October 2016
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo held its 111th meeting, led by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, where among other, adopted the Draft Law for Trepca.
Minister of Economic Development presented the draft law aimed at creating the legal infrastructure which aims a sustainable economic development through opening the way for investment, increasing the value of assets and advancement of technical- technological capital as prerequisite for vitalizing the "Trepca "vital to the welfare of workers and the general public interest. The provisions of this bill define the transformation of several business units of the Social Enterprise "Trepca" in Joint Stock Company where the Government of the Republic of Kosovo will be the owner of 80 percent of the shares, while the workers owners of 20 percent of shares. In more details and more specifically, other sections of the chapter, which deals with the shareholders, regulate these issues.
Also, this draft addresses through the chapters, the following specific issues: mineral resources, the transfer of goods of rights and human resources, status, registration and governance Joint Stock, the possibility of forming other units or other business, the opportunity to participate the private sector, social issues and the relationship with the community, the claims of creditors as well as transitional and final provisions.
Blerand Minister Stavileci also said that this process does not end there and since the beginning and that each institution has received their duties: the parliamentary commission for the treatment of several case studies; Kosovo Privatization Agency preparation of the Feasibility Study; and then gives way to the Development Strategy of "Trepca".
"Even in the law we have specified that at the latest six months from the entry into force of this law, the Government together with the Supervisory Board of the Company, will present to the Assembly for approval of its Development Strategy. Knowing that this enterprise is not a simple enterprise and the character of the works that are there is a more commercial character, then we wanted much more to give the form of a Joint Stock Company, which paves the way for investment in the future, also speaking about the workers, a kind of contribution that is linked to their performance under the business units where they are employed. So we have an enterprise which in the form of a Joint Stock Company, which has very well defined corporate governance principles, and which are included here as well. So, we tried that within the governance chapter better to specify the functions of the two main organizational structures to a higher level in the hierarchy of this Company, the Supervisory Board and the Management Board, and of course in many other issues remains to clarify through its Statute. Also, a very important chapter is the possibility of private sector participation, which already this important asset to start its journey of revitalization and to be open to different investments. We know that the mining sector in general and the specific areas which are handled in this case the minerals and ores "Trepca", nowadays in the modern world, we have some investment models which are preferred. We have presented these as well, namely four possible forms to their public-private partnership; direct private investments; joint investments; also, since we are dealing with such a type of society, the possibility of the sale and issue of shares. Another innovation is the chapter on social and community issues. So we have done this within the principles that corporations today everywhere has, to introduce the new concept of social responsibility. Also a certain percentage, we have a proposal, the mineral royalty, to be dedicated to the community, in order to facilitate investment in infrastructure, environmental protection, health, education and sport, "said Minister Stavileci.
Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, also spoke about the Draft law on Trepca.
"It may be not to say a problem, but special insight that is the impression that this so urgently is put on the agenda in the Government and Assembly. I have in mind the comments about this that were given by some members of the Government, but I also have in mind a very long period of time in which we worked on finding the best opportunities for the future status of "Trepca". We have established on time a committee here in the government, which has been tasked to draft the Law on "Trepca" and determine its status, a committee which is comprised of experts that we thought are the best in this field, including the Serb community. We had a presentation of five case studies, which were funded by the government, but are coordinated by the Committee on Economy of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, which have handled cases similar or identical to the countries whether in transition or with other countries, which have served us that we take some very important elements from them and incorporate them into law. Privatization Agency has contracted the Feasibility Study, which we are committed with this law, that the results of that study would apply either in the establishment of independent units in the future, either in attracting private capital in "Trepca ".
Naturally, as the Prime Minister cannot be ascertained that with this we found the optimal solution and a solution palatable and acceptable to everyone, but I am convinced that it is a very good solution for "Trepca", and that this law for " Trepca "is of special importance, given that" Trepca "is a synonym of Kosovo's economic development, but also represents a synonym of sacrifice for Kosovo, which we should not leave aside. But with this law we as the government, in any case do not claim to restore "Trepca" in the past, but we claim and we aim to reflect the future and the future opening of "Trepca". This future, I think that is well represented in law, because they consulted best practices and the best of cases, which help us for this law to support economic development, respect the criteria of a market economy and protect the interests of employees, respectively miners of "Trepca", namely those who work today and those who will work in the future, because the law provides the option of opening. By the law is clearly stated that that the property of "Trepca" is the property of the Republic of Kosovo and that it cannot be negotiated, that mineral resources are the property of Kosovo, but also we have opened a new chapter in which we envisaged that ground assets of "Trepca" are assets over which the Government of the Republic of Kosovo will have 80 percent shares and 20 percent will be of employees of "Trepca" and also 20 percent of mining taxes will share municipalities, respectively, for the community organizational units of "Trepca" operate in, in order to help build infrastructure there, improving education, culture, health, and compensate all the damage created to the settlements there and the environment in that area.
I think that such organization promotes competitive spirit, because we have shareholdings of workers also who will keep their profits in organizational units where they realize these profits and there will be no spill of income from a unit in the other, while "Trepca" will be unique organization with a consolidated balance sheet, i.e. business units will have their independence in income, spending, identifying and sharing their results according to dividends achieved. The Minister said during the presentation that on the basis of the Feasibility Study, are left the possibilities open for the establishment of new organizations, say the metallurgy of lead, zinc, chemical industry, but also those things that deal with processing and finalization of products for private partnerships, either through direct investment, joint investment, the sale of shares.
I see no reason at this stage that we don't support this solution. I agree that during the proceedings of the Assembly to try that, by proposing amendments, to find a solution that will be acceptable to the majority of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo. But I can assure you that the law is not designed to protect political interests, because we, through "Trepca" now will not develop such activities, but is designed that "Trepca" in the future to establish as an organization that will work on the basis of market economy, will achieve economic objectives, we will help employees there, regulate environmental issues and will help the country's economic development, from which benefit all people and all communities and it is our goal to achieve fundamental claim through this law. Therefore, I invite you to support, to vote and to proceed in the Assembly, and also to be active in parliament and support all initiatives of MPs and parliamentary groups in the Assembly which can improve even further this law the prime minister said.
Kosovo government adopted a preliminary decision on expropriation of properties affected by the construction of the roundabout that connects the N2 national road Pristina-Mitrovica with local road Vushtrri- Gojbulë, Cadastral Zone Vushtrri Vushtrri Municipality.
Annual Report on the State of Environment in Kosovo was approved by the Government. The purpose of this report, in the first place is to inform about the environmental situation in Kosovo but, its data are a good basis for building adequate environmental policies and orientation of development, planning and strategic investments in sectors that have impact on the environment such as the economy, industry, energy, transport, agriculture, etc.
Government Cabinet decided to establish the National Council for Safety and Health at Work. This will create a body of experts in this field that continuously will follow the security situation at work which will propose, recommend and suggest the formulation of policies aimed at promoting and improving the measures for increasing the quality and safety at work.
Kosovo government also approved a decision to allocate funds for veterans' pension scheme. This amount is needed to cover the pensions for the month of September 2016.
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare said that the budget approved for 2016 for the payment of pensions to veterans have been allocated 25 million euro, while in the process of revising the budget in this scheme were allocated 7 million additional and the total budget for this scheme has reached 32 million euros.
"In the period from January to August, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has paid to veteran pensions funds in the amount of 28 million 932 thousand 253. 49 euros, while instalment of payment of pensions for September is 4 million 749 thousand of 377.50 euros. According to these figures, it appears that, for the payment of pensions for September for 28 thousand and 268 veterans are required additional funds of 1 million 685 thousand euro. In order to execute the payment of pensions for veterans in September, we request to approve the decision on allocation of funds in the amount of 1 million 685 thousand euro from the state reserve and allocated to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. This relates only to the allocation of funds for the month of September, and for means about the last quarter of this year we will be in touch to find a lasting solution, "said Minister Arban Abrashi.
Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said that the government has now made efforts from the budget provision which is too limited to allocate over 1 million 600 thousand, in order to secure this payment. "I invite you to approve it, but we also taken a commitment in conversation with representatives of the IMF that we find a solution that would be affordable for us, but also compatible with the International Monetary Fund in the future, in order to overcome this problem which can push us from the program that we have with the IMF and to risk all the other projects that we won under this program. We will discuss together with the Deputy Prime Minister with representatives of veterans and with the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, we will try together with them to find a solution. We talked with the chairman of the Parliament and will coordinate with the chairman of the Parliament as well as chairman of the Democratic Party, because we are a coalition partner, in order to jointly try to find a solution which brings us out of this situation. Meanwhile, the remains later to see how to rationalize the lists and who to be beneficiaries, because we are also declared in the government and I personally, that none of those who are deserving as veterans will not be harmed in this case, but we must create conditions that these means to get those who really deserve them and real war veterans. I ask you to support this decision and then, meanwhile we will try to find a solution ", said the Prime Minister.
Minister of Economic Development, Blerand Stavileci, informed the cabinet for the resumption of work at the enterprise "Ferronikel".
"You know that a few months there have been problems and the work stopped. We work together with you and some other ministers have followed these concerns in the context of visits and discussions that we had and we tried to maximally offer our institutional support within and legal capacity for this enterprise, in order to resume work, that workers who are there to feel themselves secure for the future for them and their families. In this regard, I take this opportunity to thank all institutions, all stakeholders in this support, which we have done, including governmental institutions, in this case, KEDS, the Energy Regulatory Office, which have made the impossible, in order to accommodate some of the demands of enterprise management "Ferronikel" and that they agree to resume work. In particular the Ministry of Infrastructure, Privatization Agency of Kosovo, and two that I mentioned above, in joint meetings that we had, have shown a willingness, but also acted at all times in order to accommodate compatible solutions , legal solutions, in order to translate this institutional support in a resumption of the work of this important undertaking, "said Minister Stavileci.
Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, on this occasion, appreciated that there was a great work of the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. "We fulfilled all the issues that are required of us, thanks to our interest that we help workers there. The basic goal has been there, not to jeopardize the work of employees in "Ferronikel" and enable it to function. I welcome this very important news for the start of work, but also congratulate all the bodies for the work they have done in Drenas Municipality because the mayor, with great devotion, tried and fulfilled commitments as they have the scope and powers in this field ", said Prime Minister Mustafa.