NTA, the economic damage reaches 135 million lek
We stopped at the 92 million lek of damage caused to the state budget by the National Tourism Agency. This was made public in July by the High State Audit. But there are certain things that slipped the High State Audit and this is related to considerable figures and other abuses with taxpayers’ money. For the case we will present in the following paragraphs the infringement was not driven only by a dark and unknown purpose for us, but also from ignorance.
The National Tourisn Agency pays UNIVERS REKLAMA 3 500 400 leke on 27.08.2014 with receipt number 24410940182014, for the service of ‘’promo gadgets’’ with a contract signed between the parties no. 468/18 26.05.2014 and receipt number 987 07.07.2014, which was received on July 7, 2014.
We are talking about several promotional objects such as pens, t-shirts, plastic balls, hats and so on. 35 million lek on stationary. There is no information on the impact of these objects in promoting tourism. It is apparently only important to make them.
Let’s say until now there is no problems because NTA conducted such procedures to promote the country in the past. But the problem lies here because while in the past the focus was to promote the country, all of a sudden with the new administration of NTA since October 2013, this tender aims to promote NTA itself. It seems absurd but it is true.
To be even more correct, the National Tourism Agency in the gadgets it bought for 35 million lek does not put the logo Albania or visit Albania or Follow Your Own Way but has the smart choice of promoting itself by putting the logo of NTA in the objects purchased. The law on tourism clearly expresses that: The aim of the National Tourism Agency is the touristic promotion of Albania. Therefore, of Albania, not NTA! To testify that this ignorance is not a coincidence we will present more ridiculous facts next month.
To round up the total value of economic damage to the state, which in relation to the 600 million lek budget that NTA had in 2014, it is 22.5% and this receipt made on June 22, 2015 with a total value of 826 239 or 5860 Euros. This sum was paid for accommodation of foreign journalists on the occasion of Gjirokastra Festival. All these sums were taken away from promoting Albanian tourism and used for purposes that contradict the law and damage tourism.
Representatives of NTA might attempt to make this look as if it is done to promote cultural tourism. But the High State Audit has considered violation other cases of promotion of cultural tourism that are not in the jurisdiction of the Agency.
The debate on trimester economic figures
According to INSTAT Albania experienced an economic increase of 2.82% in the first trimester of 2015. However, also according to INSTAT the Trade Sector occupied the penultimate place among the factors that affected this increase. In fact, the bulletin of INSTAT shows that the main contribution in this increase was given by economic branches such as Industry, Energy and Water with 0.96 percentage points followed by Public Administration, Education and Health with 0.39 percentage points, Agriculture, Forest and Fishing with 0.39 percentage points; financial activities and Insurance with 0.35 percentage points; professional activities and administrative services with 0.31 percentage points; construction with 0.25 percentage points and Trade, Hotels, Restaurants and Transport with only 0.18 percentage points to conclude with immovable properties with 0.08 percentage points.
According to this bulletin, exports (in billion) from the 59 474 of the first trimester of 2014 dropped to 58 334 in the first trimester of 2015. It is concerning the fact that exports in goods has dropped by 21% while services have increased with 13%. Imports have increased while the trade deficit has jumped from -57 119 from the first trimester of 2014 to -60 223 from the first trimester of 2015.
3- Business climate: 100 companies go bankrupt
This month we learned that during May and June 2015 approximately 100 businesses declared the process of liquidation in the National Registration Center. The companies that decided to close their activities represent all sectors from gambling to trade, construction and communication. The unemployed registered have dropped slightly by 0.6% compared to the first trimester of 2014. While Albanian citizens that left the country have increased by 1.9% during this period. Keeping in mind the phenomenon of asylum seekers, these departures might have temporarily balanced the situation of employment in the country. However it remains at 13%, which is a disturbing figure for a small country like Albaniia. Remaining in the business climate the Ministry of Economy has lowered VAT for tourism, which was at 10%, being thus one of the least competitive in the region.
In addition, minister Ahmetaj instead of promoting a movable bookstore in Golem as well as a few orienting signs in Saranda, as minister of Tourism as well to promote a sustainable climate of doing business in order to avoid tourists not coming back to Albania, should have had an official communication with the Inspectorate for the National Protection of the Territory, which in the peak of the season started an action to destrou the illegal objects from Durres to Rrogozhine. Ruins with tourists around do not make for a nice touristic postcard and do not promote business climate.
Intervistë, let Gjergji Filipi i INSTAT: Nga erdhi rritja në tremujorin e parë, Revista Monitor, 13.07.2015. http://www.monitor.al/?p=140431
Buletin Statistikor, Tremujori i parë 2015, Instat,
Artikull, Pse i ka lënë për në verë shembjet në plazh IKMT?, Gazeta Mapo, 13.07.2015.
Artikull, Ekonomia në stanjacion apo në regres?, Gazeta Dita, 18.07.2015.
Artikull, Në dy muaj falimentojnë 100 biznese, ja lista, Revista Monitor, 14.07.2015.
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