Romanian finance minister Eugen Teodorivici has again stirred up the business community by submitting a bill to Parliament that would send to jail company leaders whose firms are overdue in paying their contributions, ziare.com reports.
The draft bill submitted to Parliament would make it punishable by one to six years in jail if a company leader is more than 30 days late in paying its company’s contributions to the state and two to seven years if done with “malignant intent”.
Business associations say that the bill proves that Teodorovici hasn’t worked a single day in the real economy, where 30-day delays can happen to even the company with the cleanest record and despite good will.
Florin Jianu, president of the national association of small and medium size businesses CNIPMMR said the draft was “bonkers”.
“Every now and then he would come up with such a bonkers idea and leave us wondering where it came from. This is a bill from someone who evidently hasn’t worked a single day in the private sector, because if he had, he would have known that temporary insolvencies can happen in any company”, Jianu told ziare.com
Financial consultant Adrian Benta said the 30-days period is way too short and the draft doesn’t take into account a business’ track record, nor does it specify the conditions when a company is guilty. He said a company could find itself in arrears with payments to the state simply by not having been paid itself by its partners.
“The draft says nothing about these conditions. It should be re-written very carefully”, Benta said.
Company arrears have been considered criminal before in Romania, until the Constitutional Court scrapped that law because it was unconstitutional.
Title image: Romanian finance minister Eugen Teodorivici in Parliament (source: mediafax.ro)