Minister Loukarsky discusses measures to promote the employment of sight impaired people

Minister Loukarsky discusses measures to promote the employment of sight impaired people

Minister of Economy Bojidar Loukarsky discussed the main problems that limit professional fulfillment and raise the level of employment among sight impaired people at a meeting held today with representatives of the Union of the Blind in Bulgaria (UBB).

The talk focused on the missed opportunities for participation of specialized enterprises, employing sight impaired people in public procurement procedures. According to Mr. Asen Altanov, the Chairperson of the UBB, it is a result from the practice being applied by a number of the contracting entities to circumvent the requirements pursuant to Art. 16 of the Public Procurement Act, which set forth that the employers shall be bound to award a contract to a specialized enterprise provided that the tender meets the requirements of the contracting authority in terms of quality and price. The practice otherwise reveals that the specific products that may be manufactured by such specialized companies are not listed in separate positions, which in practice eliminates their ability to participate.

Minister Loukarsky expressed readiness to undertake activities needed to overcome existing shortcomings in the regulation.

As Mr. DonkaAngelov, Manager of the specialized enterprise for manufacturing of air filters for air conditioning and ventilation systems ” “USPEH FILTER SSB” LTD in Sofia, said marketing of the goods produced by such enterprises should be improved through ensuring their access to public procurement as laid down in the law. This is also a prerequisite for new jobs for sight impaired persons. Currently, 30 out of 50 persons with impaired eyesight are employed by “USPEH FILTER SSB” LTD. At the same time, in the capital alone, the number of people with such disabilities is 1800.

Filters are used in many fields such as health, transport, pharmacy and energy. Mr. Angelov added that the filters produced by the company are competitive in terms of price and quality to the other products on the market, including those offered by foreign companies. That determines prospects for further development provided that the company’s access to the respective procurement is ensured.