Bursa.ro-Farm land leases lost because of small arrears to the state

Farm land leases lost because of small arrears to the state

* The state cancels the concession contracts for agricultural loans for derisory amounts left unpaid, whereas the businesses of its major debtors in the sector remain unaffected

With the crisis in full swing, the state proves that its management of its most important resource - land -, has no valid economic reasoning behind it.

The businesses of companies that have leased land from the state were frozen due to their failures to pay sometimes insignificant amounts. The big debtors remain unaffected and continue to exploit the plots of land they have leased from the state.

Lawyers consider this state of things unfair and estimate that the state should treats all its debtors equally, regardless of the size of their debt.

* Out of 1117 debtors, only 13 had bad luck

Since the beginning of the year, the Agency of State Domains (ADS) has cancelled 13 contracts concluded with various companies, employee unions or individuals, due to arrears amounting to approximately 272,000 lei (around 64,400 Euros).

This while the ADS has yet to see a penny from its five largest business partners, whose arrears have reached 130,900,000 lei (around 30.9 million Euros), and whose contracts have not been cancelled.

For instance, one of the debtors, located in the county of Buzău, lost its farming land lease for a debt of 1,602 lei. Another, located in the county of Alba, lost its lease for a debt of just 655 lei due to the failure to pay rent and the afferent penalties, which was loose change compared to the arrears of the big debtors.

The ADS has 1117 debtors recorded in its portfolio, and has pursued legal action against 1049 of them, according to data the agency remitted to our editors.

* The contracts that were cancelled

Data from the ADS sent to our editors show that out of the thirteen contracts terminated since the beginning of the year, eight are concession contracts with the following business partners (over the following total debts): "Agroindustriala Dolj" (for a debt of 2,699 lei), "Horticola Perişoru" (13,868 lei), "Asociaţia Terra PAS" (33,334 lei), "Asociaţia PAS Agroprod" (4,589 lei), "Rips Timiş" (14,025 lei), "Gemir Serv Com" (100,816 lei). Two other contracts that were terminated are the one concluded with Mircea Dinescu (over debts of 27,688 lei) and with Costel Bulete who owed 1,602 lei.

The plots of land that are the object of the cancelled concession contracts will be put up for auction, according to procedures.

* Top five debtors

According to data remitted by the ADS at our request, the following five companies had the biggest arrears in April: "Trei Brazi" (99.1 million lei), "Asociaţia Agricolă Toamna Bogată" (13.5 million lei), "Corias Corabia" which owed 7.9 million lei, "Protan SA" (5.9 million lei) and "Principal Construct" (4.5 million lei).

The debts of the five companies, which together amount to 30.9 million Euros, represent almost 25% of the total receivables that the state has yet to collect from agriculture.

Thse companies however, do not appear on the list of companies whose contracts with the ADS were cancelled. (ed. note. - the list has been published on m.bursa.ro).

* Attorneys request equality for all before the fiscal code

Zeno Sustac, a lawyer specializing in commercial law, considers that the state should treat all economic agents that it needs to collect money from in the same manner: "The big and small debtors should be treated equally by the tax authorities because otherwise this leads to inequity. Given the situation brought about by the economic crisis, the state budget could earn additional revenue if it were to treat its debtors indiscriminately".

According to the ADS, the state has over 130 million Euros to recover from various associations or companies to whom it sold or leased companies or farming land.
CĂTĂLIN DEACU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)

Inscriere newsletter

Zeno Daniel Sustac 2012