Bulgarian Cabinet Extends Deadline for Discounted Arrears

Bulgarian Cabinet Extends Deadline for Discounted Arrears

The Bulgarian government voted Wednesday an extension of the deadline the state has to refund discounted arrears to businesses to December 17, amidst an ever-growing amount of state dues to the private sector.

The previous deadline was set for November 30, but the Bulgarian Development Bank managed to pay just BGN 237 M out of BGN 289 M total of claims.

In the spring of 2010, the center-right GERB cabinet adopted a decision proposing to companies to receive their arrears for 2009 and 2010 given they agree to a 7% discount.

Many businesses have refused to accept those conditions and have requested to receive dues in full, but procedures for enforcing their claims are lengthy, especially when faced with a government that has proven chronically unwilling to pay.

It is estimated that end of September government and municipal arrears to businesses totalled BGN 826 M, which is a record amount for Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Development Bank has stated it is ready to cover claims up to December 17.

Nevertheless, companies that fail to collect their dues until that date will have to press demands in 2011 to the relevant ministries and government agencies.

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