In three and a half months, the realization of capital projects is only 16,6 percent

PE "Streets and Roads"

In order to realize the projects, it is necessary to provide a project and all appropriate documentation. But the administration was and remains unable to implement the process, says former finance minister Cevdet Hayredini

In three and a half months, 122,3 million euros were spent on capital projects – roads, water pipes, sewers, schools, but also for everything that goes into this item, which many experts believe has no place. This amount is 16,6 percent in relation to the total budget for capital projects for 2024, according to the data of the Ministry of Finance as of April 16. The numbers, by themselves, show that capital spending is moving at a slower pace. However, experts on budget payments say that it should not be forgotten that the main payments are at the end of the year.

In the state treasury for this year, 733 million euros are planned for capital investments, or 13 percent of the Budget. As soon as this budget was released, there was a lot of criticism that this was an unrealistic forecast, especially because this year we have the presidential and parliamentary elections, which automatically slows down state investments. According to the Law on Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interest, from the day of the decision to call elections until the election of the president and deputies, "construction cannot be started with funds from the budget or public funds, or with funds of public enterprises and other legal entities that have state capital, on new facilities in the infrastructure such as roads, water pipes, transmission lines, sewerage, sports fields and other facilities or facilities for social activities, schools, kindergartens and other facilities, unless funds from the budget have been previously provided for that purpose , that is, it is about the implementation of a program adopted on the basis of a law in the current year".

The Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi justified the high amount of capital expenditures during the implementation of the Budget precisely by the implementation of ongoing projects.

– The planned 733 million euros for capital investments in 2024 are projections for ongoing projects, for their realization due in 2024 according to the initial plans of the line ministries. Their funding is part of the budget, part of the international financial institutions - said the Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi.

Former Finance Minister Cevdet Hayredini told "Sloboden Pechat" that the main problem for the non-realization of capital projects is the incompetence of the administration in the relevant state bodies.

- Elections are not a special obstacle for non-realization of capital projects. Even in non-election years, we have poor realization of capital expenditures. It is chronic pain. Also, if you look in detail at what is considered capital expenditure, you will find many things that are not infrastructure, or other important capital projects. In order to realize a certain capital project, certain conditions must be met. Money is not transferred immediately. Project holders are certain ministries, mostly the Ministry of Transport and Communications for infrastructure projects. In order to realize the projects, it is necessary to provide a project and all appropriate documentation. But the administration was and remained incapable of serving not only domestic but also foreign investments in capital projects. An indicator of this is the fact that despite the money provided, there is no implementation of projects. Therefore, usually in September we have a rebalancing of the budget and the money from capital projects is reassigned to other items - says Hajredini.

University professor Marjan Boyadziev said in a conversation on the morning program of "Sloboden Pechat" that the state has so far proven to be a bad investor.

- Last year, photovoltaics and wind turbines with a capacity of 180 megawatts were built in Macedonia, or about a third of Bitola, and the state intervention is zero, which means that they were built by the private sector. But where the state was supposed to build, the situation is not like that. Here, for example, the 7 kilometers to Kosovo, even though we export there, there is no way they will be built - says the professor.

In the pre-election period, one of the main election promises of the parties is exactly the capital projects - what they would do during their mandate. Figures in the billions are auctioned and usually one blames the other for not doing what was promised during their reign.

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