More than 3 times the revenue of “VMZ” in the last two months. This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stojanov in the morning news of BTV. In his words, from revenues of about BGN 80 million per month, the revenues fell to BGN 26 million in July.
This is one of the reasons for the urgent action to save the plant and changes in its management.
“Is it revanchism when you see someone breaking a shop window and you fix it”, Nikola Stojanov rhetorically asked in response to a question about the motives for the personnel changes in the military factory. “We approach each case individually and where there is expertise it is preserved and built upon,” the economy minister stressed. He added that for the sake of continuity in the majority of the companies, people appointed by the previous minister were retained. “I will give you a concrete example – in the State Consolidation Company, I have appointed 3 new members but the majority of the 4 remains with the people appointed by the previous Minister. The fact that yesterday they have supported personnel changes in the subsidiaries shows that they are also aware of the need for decisive action for their recovery,” Nikola Stojanov said.
The situation with VMZ is extremely worrying for him. “It is significant that the trade unions asked for an urgent meeting to tell about the things they witness. They are worried about workers’ wages and how the enterprise is being run,” Nikola Stojanov added. He gave an example of illogical personnel policy – the administrative staff is being bloated, and in recent days additional agreements are being signed en masse with newly hired people with clauses for huge benefits. The contract of a particular employee with no work experience, hired at two and a half times the average salary in the factory, with a clause to pay 6 months’ salary upon dismissal, was shown on air. “These examples, unfortunately, are dozens and show that someone is deliberately damaging the interests of the company,” Minister Stojanov added. He stressed that he hoped everyone at the factory would sooner be receiving similar and higher salaries, but until that was a fact, he called for priority to be given to thinking about how to raise the salaries of experienced experts, not those who were newly recruited.
Minister Stojanov has issued instructions to the public enterprises in the system of the Ministry of Economy and Industry to stop payments, except those directly related to their activities. Against this backdrop, VMZ had contracted construction work for BGN 3 million in hours and without a tender. About half of this amount was immediately paid to companies as an advance. Another example is that of Kintex, where they transferred more than BGN 800 thousand to an offshore company in Dubai. “This rush is extremely worrying. That is why action is needed now and immediately. Because tomorrow may be too late,” the minister explained.
“I congratulate the State Consolidation Company for the decision to reinstate the Executive Director of NITI Kazanlak. It was scandalous to order a man with 30 years of experience to be sacked on literally the last day of the previous minister to put an unemployed party member in his place,” Minister Stojanov said. He stressed that such experts would have his confidence and gave the example of Kintex, where only the man who voted against paying large sums to an offshore company remains in the management. “I don’t know the colleague, but that’s what I want to see happening in companies – experts who look out for the state interest. The obedient appointees we see where they have brought things to,” the economy minister added.
Responding to accusations that the management bodies of the companies are being increased, Minister Stojanov explained that they are simply implementing the orders of the law. “It remains an open question why, with a legal requirement for a Board of Directors of at least 5 members in the management, the State Consolidation Company and VMZ worked with 3 or 4 members each,” Minister Stojanov said and then rhetorically asked whether controversial decisions such as transfers of large sums to offshore accounts or construction contracts with 50% advance payments were easier to pass with fewer people.