Skopje, 19th February 2013 (MIA) – Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, within the resumed 55th session, adopted the Law on Writing Off Interest on Arrears on the Basis of Mandatory Social Insurance Contributions.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Ardian Xheladini, pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Macedonia proposes Law on Writing Off Interest on Arrears on the Basis of Mandatory Social Insurance Contributions, which would provide for complete write-off of interest on mandatory pension and disability insurance contributions incurred by 2009, if arrears alone are settled within six months. The same draft Law also provides for write-off of interest on arrears on the basis of all types of social insurance contributions incurred in the period from 2009 to 2012.

– The Law envisages the following possibilities: 100% write-off of interest, if arrears alone are settled within six months following the submission of the request therefore. Seventy-five percentage write-off of interest, if arrears are settled within 12 months, Xheladini said. Fifty percentage of the interest will be written off, if arrears are settled in a period of 12 to 18 months.  

Purpose of this measure of the Government is to meet the demands of hundreds of Macedonian companies pertaining to arrears on the basis of pension and disability insurance. It is estimated that interest on pension insurance arrears accounts for 40% of the arrears.

Izet Zequri from NDP believes that this is a populist measure of the Government, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage, according to him, is that it provides for the possibility the companies to repay the arrears. However, Zequri said, this measure has no effects as regards paying off arrears. It is necessary for this Government to offer fiscal amnesty, which would provide for an overview and all those having incurred arrears to be granted amnesty, in order to encourage them to pay the contributions, NDP MP stated. Disadvantages of the Law are that it is discriminatory as regards those paying their liabilities on regular basis.

Business sector positively assessed this Government measure, which would provide for the companies to continue operating in Macedonia and to settle their liabilities on regular basis.

After the Government announced this measure, Macedonian Chambers of Commerce CEO, Mitko Aleksov, stated that the measures were part of their demands they submitted to the Ministry of Finance.

– These measures are, above all, favourable as regards relieving the companies from the incurred arrears on the basis of these contributions. According to our records, it is a matter of companies facing serious financial problems, companies for which bankruptcy proceedings were initiated, but managed to cope with the situation through reorganization and reconstruction and they now have conditions for further sound economic performance. However, these accumulated arrears are a serious problem, Aleksov said.

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