The governing coalition will meet in Parliament on Monday evening to discuss energy measures. Energy Minister Virgil Popescu said on Sunday that the new support scheme for the population is being worked on from 1 April. “We will not make a scheme that will be more disadvantageous than the existing scheme,” he said, quoted by News.ro.
According to G4Media sources, at the 5pm meeting the PSD will put forward several proposals aimed at stopping price rises and lowering bills for both the population and the economy – SMEs and large companies, critical infrastructure – CFR, Metrorex and public institutions – hospitals, schools.
Minister Virgil Popescu spoke on Sunday about the measures to be taken in the coming period in the context of high electricity and gas bills.
“Next week in the Government meeting we will amend the law on capping and compensation and we will force all suppliers who have drawn up invoices in an erroneous manner outside the law on capping and compensation to redo them, to redo them without charging penalties, we will stop any kind of disconnection during the period of application of this law because we want to put the customer on an equal footing with the supplier, so that there is no means, so to speak, of pressure from the supplier to pay an erroneous bill under threat of disconnection,” the Energy Minister told Profit. ro.
He noted that he does not think “suppliers look kindly on this impossibility of disconnection, but they have shown us that they were not in good faith”.
“I understand that bills have to be paid, but bills have to be paid correctly. Not invoices drawn up in a wrong way. That is why I am holding on to this measure to block disconnections during the period of validity of this law”, Virgil Popescu stressed.
Popescu said, in response to a question, that he does not believe that suppliers made these errors “out of stupidity”.
He added that ANRE could have had discussions with the suppliers and checked in December if they had updated computer applications.
“They could have intervened preventively in the market to prevent invoices from being issued,” Popescu said.
The energy minister noted that, in addition to individuals and companies, there are also schools, hospitals, kindergartens that have erroneously drawn up invoices, but there too the price must be capped.
Popescu also said that the new support scheme for the population is being worked on from 1 April, but it must be agreed in the coalition at the end of the week or next week.
“We have a support scheme for the population so that we don’t go through these situations again. (…) We will not make a scheme that will be more disadvantageous than the existing scheme. We will discuss from 1 February a package for the food industry, for agriculture, we will be able to discuss possibly from 1 February an additional discount on natural gas, either we increase the discount from 33 to 50% or we lower the VAT for natural gas, so we find solutions”, detailed the Energy Minister.
He admitted that these solutions would require additional pressure, so an analysis by the Ministry of Finance is needed.
Regarding the PSD’s request for zero VAT, Popescu explained: “The Ministry of Finance also has to tell us whether zero VAT is possible in the European Union. I know that a directive is being discussed at the level of EU finance ministers, which could lead to zero VAT for food in the future. The Finance Minister, who is much more senior than the Finance Ministers of the Member States of the European Union, should tell us whether or not this is possible. I agree with any scheme that helps people, from our point of view, the Ministry of Energy.”
He said he was confident a deal would be reached at the coalition meeting.