The Government of Kosovo held its regular meeting
Prishtina, 15 February 2017
Chaired by Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo today held its 131st regular meeting, in which it approved draft laws, agreements and other decisions of its constitutional and legal responsibilities.
Initially, Prime Minister Mustafa welcomed to the cabinet the new Minister of European Integration, Mimoza Ahmetaj, wishing her good luck and collaboration with all members of the Government.
The government has adopted the Regulation on Conditions for Obtaining and the Manner for Exercising the Right to Immediate Aid in Money, which is an obligation derived for the implementation of the Law for Protection against Natural and Other Disasters. The regulation aims to determine the amount and manner of exercising the right to immediate aid in money, in cases where a member of structures for protection, rescue and aid dies while performing the organized tasks for protection and rescue of humans' life, goods and cultural heritage from the risks caused by natural and other disasters.
The Government also adopted the National Public Procurement Strategy 2017-2021, which contains the vision, objectives, measures and steps that the Government and main public procurement authorities in the Republic of Kosovo intend and plan to undertake and achieve within the next mid-term period, in order to advance the public procurement system.
In this meeting, the Cabinet adopted the Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo for implementing the recommendations of the Annual Audit Report for 2015. In the plenary session on 1 December 2016, the Kosovo Assembly reviewed the report of the National Audit Office for 2015, a report on the budget of the Republic of Kosovo for 2015. Based on the recommendations given in the Assembly, the Government is required to prepare an Action Plan for the implementation of all recommendations of the Audit Report, and to report regularly on a quarterly basis about the progress made regarding the implementation.
Government also approved the Assessment Report on the Adequacy of the Municipal Funding System for 2016. This report presents the evaluations of the Grants Commission regarding the adequacy of the municipal funding systems for 2016. The report also contains the main challenges identified by the Grants Commission and provides recommendations for further improvements in the municipal funding system.
The governmental cabinet approved the preliminary decision on expropriation for public interest of real property of owners and interest holders affected by reconstruction of N2 National Road, intersection Gjilan-QMI, Cadastral Zone Llapna Sella, in the municipality of Gracanica.
Also, approval was given to the preliminary decision on expropriation for public interest of real property of owners and interest holders affected by reconstruction of the connecting road with the N9 National Road Prishtina-Peja, Cadastral Zone Kijeva, in the municipality of Malisheva.
At today's meeting, the Government approved the initiative for concluding a cooperation agreement on financing and managing the "HERAS" project on Higher Education, Research and Applied Sciences (Kosovo) between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Kosovo and the Austrian Development Agency, ADA. The project aims to contribute to the well-functioning of higher education and science in Kosovo, in accordance with the principles of European Higher Education Area (EHEA), and in accordance with the European Research Area (ERA), with the long-term objective to support the socio-economic development of the country. The project will be implemented for the three year period 2017-2019.
The governmental cabinet took a decision to reappoint the Director General of Civil Registration Agency in MIA to the position of Secretary General of MIA.
The governmental cabinet was informed on the progress of the Action Plan for the commencement of collecting health premiums.
Regarding the objective of the Fund capacity building, we can say that we have received the financial impact assessment from Ministry of Finance for adoption of the Regulation on internal organization and we are expecting to receive this approval from the Ministry of Public Administration as well. Job descriptions for 26 new positions are already completed whereas the recruitment will begin immediately after the adoption of the regulation. We have also completed the training plan for Outpatient Drug Benefit Scheme and the payment per capita based on performance that goes for primary health care. It has been also prepared the new financial Regulation of the Fund, which will soon be brought to the Government. Working group for supplementing/amending the Law on Health Insurance has drafted the initial draft which is going through other approval procedures and very soon, as we have agreed, we will bring it to the Government, and we will send it to the Assembly. It is now ready the initial draft for the Administrative Instruction on determining the criteria for exemption from payment of premiums, co-payments and other payments. I am talking about the nominee, as a test of poverty which will be implemented soon. Draft document for the list of basic health care services has passed all the procedures of harmonization with health institutions. Also, through the World Bank's Kosovo health project, a consultant has been engaged, who within a few days will make the assessment and proposal for the most suitable type of DRG, which falls under the objective "price list of basic package health services" Also, it is now over the public discussion phase with the University Hospital Clinical Service of Kosovo about the list of health outpatient services and their price list. The working group for defining reimbursable drugs is at very advanced phases of defining the final list, together with the cost. It has been also drafted the first draft of the Administrative Instruction on defining the criteria for contracting the pharmacies for the reimbursable list, as we have an initial cost analysis of the Outpatient Drug Benefit Scheme. In this period has been finalized the manual for payment per capita by performance and it has been signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Finance and the six municipalities of the pilot area. Over 300 thousand information leaflets were printed and distributed across the country within the awareness activities, as it has been finalized the communication strategy and terms of reference, which resulted in the initiation of the process for the selection of the implementing company which is expected to start working on the implementation of this strategy at some time in April. I believe that the supporting documentation was forwarded to you and you can see all the details there. I would thank all ministries for their support and commitment in fulfilling this action plan, as I would ask you to further continue with a higher intensity of support since do not have that much time", said Minister of Health, Imet Rahmani.
Regarding this issue, the Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said that a decision is taken to require from the Ministry to provide us with regular information on the progress made on the action plan for collecting the premiums. "There was a debate yesterday in the Assembly; we announced that from 1 July, we will start with the implementation of the Government's decision to commence collecting premiums. Now, there is an Assembly resolution which requires us to inform the Assembly about this every three months. Practically, it is good that we can send the report to the Assembly, the report which we will receive the next month, in order for the Assembly to be aware of all actions being undertaken, updating what was given today to the Government", said Prime Minister Mustafa.
The other point which received the approval of the governmental cabinet was Government Cabinet's Information regarding the Report on the Performance of Budget Revenue and Expenditure. This report contains a brief analysis on the main trends of budget revenues and expenditures for January 2017. Total revenues during January 2017 have increased by 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year, of which, revenues at border recorded an increase of 5.5 per cent, while domestic revenues increased by 3.5 percent compared to the same period last year. We had a significant increase in other revenues, such as the withholding taxes, taxes on rent, lotteries, property rights and revenues that were derived from the Law on Public Debt Forgiveness. Own source revenues are also performing well. In this period of beginning of the year, we have an 8 percent increase compared to January last year. Regarding expenditures, in January we have spent 80 million Euros, which is 2.3 percent more than in January last year and which was mainly due to increased expenditures on subsidies and transfers through various schemes, while other expenditures are within expectations.
The governmental cabinet was informed about the upcoming meeting between the European Commission and the SAA Sub-committee on Transport, Environment, Energy, Climate and Regional Development.
The meeting will be held in Prishtina on 16 February 2017. Sub-committees are part of formal structures for monitoring the implementation of the SAA. In the meeting will be discussed on the progress in implementation of reforms, including the conclusions of last year and will be agreed upon measures to be taken for implementing the criteria and further harmonization with the EU policies in the sectors of transport, environment, energy and regional development. Also, it will be discussed on the implementation of the priority measures of the European reform agenda and economic reform program, as well as the Connectivity agenda and soft measures for these sectors. Regarding the environment sector, the focus will be on the latest developments in environmental policy. Regarding air quality, it will be discussed about the measurements in real time and reports on its quality. Important points of discussion will be the implementation of the master plan for waste, and the establishment of the operator for hazardous waste landfill. Another important topic of discussion will be the establishment of river basin management authority and preparation of management plans for such basins. In the context of climate change, it is expected that in the meeting will be discussed on the strategy for adaptation and lower emissions, update of reporting for the inventory of greenhouse gases and implementation of the secondary legislation for monitoring and reporting emissions of greenhouse gases and of carbon dioxide from vehicles. Regarding regional development, it will be discussed on the concept document for regional development. In the field of transport, discussions will focus on the implementation of soft measures within the connectivity agenda, as well as on the progress and projects for construction and expansion of road infrastructure. Also, important points of discussion will be the implementation of the legislation on road safety, adoption of the law on driving licenses, strengthening of capacities and financial independence of the rail regulatory, the appointment of the railway investigator in the Committee for Investigation of Accidents and Incidents, as well as other relevant developments. In the context of air transport, the topic will be about meeting the remaining requirements of the first phase of the agreement on European Common Aviation Area, as well as the implementation of the Law on the Air Navigation Services Agency. Regarding the energy field, the discussions will focus on the implementation of soft measures within the connectivity agenda, safety of electricity supply, as well as on the initiatives taken for the establishment of the internal energy market. Focus of the talks will be the development of the strategic framework through adoption of a comprehensive energy strategy. Regarding the energy efficiency, it will be discussed on the adoption of the Law on energy efficiency, action plan for energy efficiency, as well as common measures regarding environment and energy efficiency. It will be discussed also about the establishment of a common stock market of energy with Albania. The last topic to be discussed at the meeting will be regarding the projects in the energy sector financed within the IPA 1 and 2. For all areas, a report has been prepared based on materials received from institutions and that report will be shared with the European Commission before the meeting. The official conclusions will be drawn up and agreed upon between the parties after the meeting, based on discussions at the meeting and the EC proposals. Part of the conclusions are also the measures and actions our country should implement in the next year in the framework of implementing the SAA and the European agenda", said Minister of European Integration, Mimoza Ahmetaj.