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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
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Riga City Council’s budget for 2020: no money for new development initiatives

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThere will be no money for new development initiatives in Riga City Council’s budget for 2020, admits head of the city council’s Finance Department’s Municipal Budget Office Uldis Rakstiņš.

Commenting on the municipality’s budget for 2019, Rakstiņš admits that the section for PIT is implemented well, as collected amounts are higher than expected.

As for at whose expense the municipality’s expenditures have decreased, he says the municipality is not doing well with different projects. These include Riga City Council Transport Department’s organized reconstruction of A.Deglava overpass and Brasas Bridge. As a result of this it has been decided to divert money to another year.

Construction of the Eastern Highway has stopped because the city council failed to complete its obligations on time. This is why the money provided by European funds for this project has been instead transferred to Transport Ministry for use on other projects.

«We are engaged in talks to have this money returned. One option voiced so far is to take money from 4th stage of Southern Bridge construction and use it to finance construction of the highway,» said the financier, adding that expenditures have reduced because planned work did not start on time.

Revenue declined because of delays with projects as well. «Signing a contract with EU on implementation of a co-financed project made the municipality eligible to a coverage of up to 90% of the project’s costs. Such an advance payment was initially planned for the Eastern Highway project, because there was no advance payment there is also no revenue,» explains Rakstiņš.

As for the next year’s budget, Rakstiņš said that although all decisions on expenditures are made by deputies, the municipality’s financial capital does not like it when the city council suddenly decides on implementation of new initiatives.

More on this topic: Unexpectedly, Riga City Council refuses to provide funding to Rīgas satiksme

«Budget programmes may be roughly the same as they are now, maybe with slight corrections,» says Rakstiņš.

Reviewing budget amendments, opposition deputy Vilnis Ķirsis asked city council’s financiers if the administration has given them the order to estimate models for reducing free lunches at schools in order to reduce the number of discounts in public transport sector.

City council chairman Oļegs Burovs told Ķirsis that speculations about possible changes for public transport discounts are nothing more than ‘statements that should remain on the conscience of the deputies who voice them’.

«The coalition has not made such a proposal and nor will it ever do that,» Burovs promised.

As for lunches at schools, he said he has asked relevant departments to prepare opinions and estimates about possible changes, adding that this does not mean there will be changes.

Deputy Ģirts Lapiņš wanted to know at whose expense was it possible to reduce budget deficit by about EUR 25 million. He was told that because a number of investment projects fell through it made it possible to save up money. Lapiņš asked what could happen if SIA Rīgas satiksme does not receive its requested EUR 2.9 million.

«Does this mean they will not have the previously planned revenue?» asked the city council deputy.

Rakstiņš admitted that even without the grant the company could conclude next year with profits. This is why the city council has decided to no give money.


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