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House expected to ‘freeze’ Olivewood budget pending further review

July 11, 2019 at 10:07am
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The government has urged parliament to freeze rather than reject requests for additional funds  that require further review, when the House plenum votes on a supplementary budgetary bill before the summer recess.

Under the system of ‘crossing’ budgetary sums, the amount is left frozen pending further clarification from the state before it is released.

This includes urgent funds for Olivewood – the island’s fledgling incentive plan promoting Cyprus as an international film location.

Acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance Phedon Kalozois explained in a letter sent to the House Finance Committee this week that if the funds are approved then both a practical and a legal issue will be created.

Kalozois then referred to article 65 of the law on public expenses which provides that the government can only submit two supplementary budgets to parliament  per financial year.

Following the Finance Ministry’s letter, parliament is expected to ‘cross’ on Friday the following funds:

—€8.7 million to cover additional costs incurred due to the implementation of the Audio-visual Promotion Plan known as Olivewood. The Finance Ministry points out that this budget provision will be inadequate due to the subsidy of two films. Shooting of the two films in Cyprus has started or will start and end within 2019.

—€4.4 million to cover increased expenditure  due to the write-off of this  amount for loans granted to the Cyprus Development Bank up until 1984.

— €2.1 million for the issuing of a grant in return for the writing off of taxes to the State.

—€1.18 million to cover increased expenditure incurred due to the participation of the Ministry of Defence at various European programmes/actions focusing on research and innovation.

By Eleftheria Peizanou

 

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