Economic and Fiscal Council discussed the situation in Kosovo

Prishtina, Oct 14, 2004 – UN-Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) reports that the 21st meeting of the Economic and Fiscal Council of Kosova was held yesterday in Prishtina, chaired for the first time by the newly appointed Principal Deputy SRSG, Lawrence Rossin.

Yesterday’s meeting discussed the progress of the Kosovo 2005-2007 budget development process and the 2004 budget mid-year review, as well as the Independent Auditors’ Reports on PTK and KEK.

The importance of the participation of all stakeholders in the budget process, particularly of the Assembly, was emphasized. As the process is behind schedule, the Council is looking forward to receiving soon a 2005-2007 draft budget from the Government, for consultations at the next EFC meeting.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy gave a brief update of the Government’s priorities and their impact on the 2004 budget mid-year review. The EFC Chairman welcomed this sign of progress, while noting that the considerable delay of the mid-year review has reduced the time available to implement the decisions. He asked the Ministry of Finance and Economy to submit the final mid-year review proposal through the Government to the SRSG and the EFC members.

For the first time, KEK and PTK presented their Independent Auditors’ Reports. These Auditors’ Reports are an important element for the financial transparency of Publicly Owned Enterprises, which are in the process of being incorporated.

The management of each of the two POEs made presentations on the financial situation of the companies and gave an outline of development plans. KEK’s management emphasized the ongoing problem of poor bill collection rates and large outstanding debts, resulting in cash deficits. PTK’s management presented an investment plan aimed at increasing its network capacity and improving service quality. In addition, the management stressed the importance of capacity building to ensure the company’s future development.

In conclusion, Mr. Rossin emphasized that the issues raised during this meeting would continue to require the attention of the EFC members.