Government takes over funds raised for car recycling

MAG
04-07-2008, 11:45

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – Funds from car importers will be spent for government conferences. The cabinet changed law within 40 days in order to achieve this.

Every Pole importing a second-hand car from the EU must pay the so called recycling fee amounting to PLN 500 (EUR 148.8m). The funds are supposed to be spent to utilize old wrecks. The government has recently changed the law and it will spend the money for conferences, debates and banquettes.

“There is no other name to this than a theft. The Poles who buy used cars abroad are being stolen”, Grzegorz Wlazlo from PKPP Lewiatan alarmed.

The environmental fund FOSiGW told “PB” that over PLN 1bn has been collected already. Instead of being spent for recycling, the money will go for a UN climate conference held in Poznan this year. The government needed funds to provide for two-week-long stay of delegates from 190 countries. As many as over 10,000 guests are expected.

The recycling fee has been collected since January 1st 2006. According to the law, funds raised this way are supposed to subsidize companies utilizing car wrecks. It turned out that the funds collected have been too large and no one knew how to spend them.

“There are 453 garages disassembling cars in Poland. In 2007, 85 of them received PLN 14.3m. This year, they got PLN 33.5m. The funds are used so scarcely because, first of all, EU limits concerning public subsidies. Besides, over 80 percent of cars withdrew are used illegally”, Adam Malyszko, the CEO of the Car Recycling Forum FRS commented.

The Ministry of Environment proposed to spend these funds for international and national conferences connected with environmental protection. The law did not allow for this. That’s why in April 2008, a bill signed by Prime Minister Donald Tusk was submitted at the parliament. No public consultations were allowed by prime minister, the issue was diligent. Quietly, the bill was approved by the parliament within a month and a half. The amendment came into force several days ago.

“This was really quickly. There are so many important laws the citizens or companies are waiting for which for months are lying in the parliament’, Grzegorz Wlazlo said.

The previous government applied for the possibility to organize UN conference. It did not provide funds for this purpose, however. Tusk government found only PLN 55m of reserves. A similar conference held last year in Indonesia cost USD 100-120m.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.298)

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