Economic Transition in Russia and the New States of Eurasia

By Bartlomiej Kaminski | Go to book overview

overcome their apathy in order to stimulate their support for reforms. Measures aimed at accomplishing just this objective have been included in a government information program. In order to bring this program to life, the Ministry of Privatization has prepared, published, and distributed the "Encyclopedia of Shareholders," the "ABCs of Privatization," and other publications to the population. The ministry has also organized eight direct phone lines to provide consultation on privatization issues. In addition, a group of lecturers has organized several seminars on privatization in all regions of Moldova. And minnistry officials are encouraged to participate in radio and television programs focusing on privatization.

With the completion of privatization by vouchers, an important step in property reform will end. At the same time, market mechanisms already have been put into place, most importantly a securities market. Only with sensible laws can the conditions for private economic agents to obtain support from the banking system be created. This development will allow privatization to achieve its goals of economic stabilization and social protection of the population. The requisite legal institutions must be established to solve the problems of reconstruction during the post-privatization period.


Notes
1.
One should take into account inflation in 1992. A decree of the Ministry of Privatization and State Property of 31 March 1993 established the rules for correction of enterprises' valuations.

Also, the cost of property included the living fund, at a cost of 270 billion lei; 176 Prednestrovsk enterprises, at a cost of 204 billion lei; the property given to the agricultural suppliers for free, at a cost of 119 billion lei; and the cost of several enterprises. However, this property was left to be de facto privatized by vouchers. Property privatized by vouchers cost 421 billion lei, 2.4 times less than the property cost included in voucher calculation (1,014 billion lei).

2.
The infrastructure created by the ministry allows more than 100 enterprises to participate in the auction at the same time and more than 150,000 requests to be processed in a span of six weeks. Companies of brokers, dealers, and depositors will have these centers as their base.
3.
Vouchers could not be sold at this stage. The nominal value of vouchers varied based on a worker's experience and number of years employed, which was added to the minimum value of five working years. Everyone, including children, received the minimum value. Employees could use their vouchers to buy up to 20 percent of the enterprise for which they worked, and suppliers of raw materials could claim 50 percent of the enterprise for free. These rules reflected the political balance between the agricultural and industrial lobbies in Moldova.

The privatization methods led to the widespread distribution of industrial enterprises' property. After the first stage of privatization was completed, the transfer of vouchers became the most important issue. Therefore, the government claimed that vouchers could be sold and set the rules to be followed by private financial distributors, such as investment funds, trust companies, and associations of citizens. The Independent Fund Exchange will contribute to the post-privatization process, as will the Commission on the Exchange of Securities.

-353-

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