We are looking for a common approach to support bus companies affected by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was stated by the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rossen Jeliazkov during today's meeting with representatives of the bus carriers.
"There is a need for constant dialogue and mutual audibility between the Ministry and the branch in order to draw clear and targeted measures, supported by the state, to help businesses in this difficult situation. In the person of the Ministry you have a partner for finding administrative and regulatory solutions. My wish is not to divide the companies into small, medium and large, but to look for a common approach, affecting all enterprises ", Minister Rossen Jeliazkov pointed out.
The Minister said that there were opportunities for European funding to support the bus sector. He reminded that part of the funds under the Operational Program on Transport and Transport Infrastructure had been transferred to the Operational Program on Innovation and Competitiveness, totaling to BGN 162.5 million, and more solutions were being sought at the European funding level.
Minister Rossen Jeliazkov reminded that the 60/40 Measure had been changed for the bus carriers to 80/20 Measure. There were also various financial and credit instruments, as well as tax relief, affecting this sector as well. He said that the Operational Program on Innovation and Competitiveness also provided opportunities to support bus companies. From July 1 to 15, bus carriers would be able to apply for a new type of state support. For payment of BGN 290 compensation for keeping the job of each of their employees. The planned funds are BGN 40 million and will be provided under the Short-term Employment Support in Response to the Pandemic of COVID-19 Procedure of the Human Resources Development OP.
During the talks, the carriers presented their proposals for refining the existing measures, as well as seeking new opportunities to support the sector. Changes in the Road Transport Act were also discussed, as well as the possibilities for criminalizing unregulated transport.