Albanian government privatizes 65 public services

Albanian government privatizes 65 public services

IBNA Special Report

Tirana, January 7, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

For 2015, the Albanian government has decided to offer 65 public services to private companies, in an effort to reduce budget expenses, to offer better quality for the citizens and to increase budget incomes. Minister of Economic Development, Commerce and Enterprise, Arben Ahmetaj, (photo) offers details about what he called a new partnership between the public and private sector.

These are 65 concessionary agreements that the government will offer to private subjects in order to remove the burden of cost from the budget, but also to offer a better quality of services.

Mr. Ahmetaj says that “these 65 projects have been brought by state institutions and have a total value of 375.6 billion ALL.”

The services that will pass under the control of private subjects include the health system, registration of fixed assets, food safety, agriculture, etc.

Ahmetaj: A new way of managing public property

Minister Ahmetaj is optimistic that these concessions will bring advantages. “We’re aiming a new way of managing public property, that offers a modernization of services for Albanian citizens, maximization of benefits for the public, increase of efficiency, reduction of costs and the reduction of budget expenses”.

The minister says that work has been done with international partners in order to come up with a fresh conception of current concessionary procedures and partnership between public and private sector, in order to benefit the citizens.

“A thorough analysis of concessions and public services has been conducted, in order to enable standardization and facilitation of procedures in order to pass on to concrete projects that can be offered in the form of a concessionary agreement and a new relation between public and private sector”, says Mr. Ahmetaj.

According to him, so far, several services have been a burden for public finances and have left too much to desire for the citizens.

“Through a new format of the partnership between public and private sector, we aim not only to increase the efficiency of these services and the quality of these services, but also, instead of spending public funds, we can generate quality services for the citizens and public funds in the favor of the state budget”, says Mr. Ahmetaj.

Among the most important concessions that will be realized next month, Ahmetaj mentioned the construction of the Road of Nation and the maintenance of this highway. “146 billion ALL worth of funding will be saved from the state budget and they will go for other projects, which we may not have been able to fund them until today due to the lack of funds”, says the minister.

According to Ahmetaj, the new scheme of relations between public and private sector, not only will inject another 350 billion ALL in the Albanian economy, but it will also secure savings of around 150 billion ALL.

The concession law was approved by “Berisha”

The law on concessions regarding partnership between the public and private sector was drafted by Berisha’s government. The law was exploited to privatize several services that today guarantee hundreds of millions of Euros to the owners.

Citizens say that they now receive a better service, but the cost is very high.

Thus, the concession on fiscal stamps in 2010 was given to the Swiss company “Sicpa Security Solutions sa”. The National Lottery was given for management to the Austrian company “Austrian Lotteris”.

The technical inspection of motor vehicles, which takes place every year, is mandatory for every vehicle registered in our country. In 2009, this service was given to the Swiss company “SGS Automotive Albania”. After that, there was the concessionary agreement on the fuel dyeing. This concessionary agreement was given to “Global Fluids International” for a period of 10 years. This company must mark and monitor fuels. In 2008, the right for the production of ID cards in our country was given to the French company “Sagem”. These concessions were criticized by the left wing, which launched many accusations when it was in opposition. These concessions continue and a part of them have been renewed.

The sectors that will be given to concessionaries:

Transports include concessions on construction, maintenance and operation of the main roads with the scope of improving road safety.

-The concessionary tender for the construction of the segment of Arber Road at the end of February.

-The tender for the maintenance of the highway linking Durres to Morina.

Finances

-E-taxation will be given to a concessionary.

-One of the projects being deliberated by the Ministry of Finance in order to be given to concessionaries is taxation on property. This concession relates to the collection and the documentation of properties, in order to have better records of properties, but also to increase revenues from the tax on property.

Health

-Basic medical check-up and the service of dialysis.

-The first phase will start in Korca, Vlora and Shkoder.

-A regional hospital will be given for private administration.

Social welfare

-Concessions for investments in elderly homes, orphanages, centers for the development of disabled people, accommodation for women who are victims of domestic crime.

-Projects for the opening of new professional schools and new study profiles in the Centers for Professional Education in cooperation with the private sector.

Food safety and veterinary

-Food safety tests and phytosanitary services.

-Veterinary safety services and test labs.

-Services for the recycling of wastes.

Environment

-Administration of hospital wastes.

-Concessions on the differentiated administration of the wastes of central institutions; electronic wastes; electric wastes; packaging wastes; used oils; organic oils; wastes from vehicles which are out of use; used tires; batteries or the entire range of wastes that damage the environment and public health.

-Swathes of land will be given to the private sector with the aim of afforesting protected areas.

-Concessionary agreements will be offered to owners and private administrators, half public and public of lands and forests.

Tourism

-Concessionary agreements of territories in order to push the development of tourism. /ibna/