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Press release from 139th Cabinet session

Press release from 139th Cabinet session
Published date: 17.10.2019 18:19 | Author: PR Service

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Pljevlja, Montenegro (17 October 2019) -- At today’s session, which took place in Pljevlja, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Draft Law on Protection from the Negative Impact of Climate Change. The key objective of this document is to protect against the adverse effects of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the ozone layer and other issues related to the protection against adverse effects of climate change. In that regard, the measures and the way they are implemented are clearly standardised, which will result in the establishment of a system necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both globally and nationally. The discussion emphasised that Montenegro is among the first countries in the region to adopt this document of paramount importance, which had been drafted for the purpose of adapting to changing climatic conditions.

In order to harmonise the national legislation with the one of the European Union in the field of marine protection, the Government passed the Draft Law on the Protection of the Marine Environment. The defined legal solutions set the goals of protection of the marine environment, that is, the achievement of a good and sustainable condition of the marine environment, as well as the basics and benchmarks for the preparation, development, implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the Marine Environmental Strategy. Accordingly, regional and sub-regional cooperation shall be regulated in such a way that the measures taken in the protection of the marine environment are coordinated and harmonised at the level of the marine sub-regions or regions. In addition, it is envisaged to establish cross-sectoral cooperation by setting up a Marine Protection Coordination Body to monitor and improve the situation in this area.

The Cabinet also passed the Draft Law on eGovernment. Legislative regulation of this area has been undertaken to encourage faster and more efficient administrative action and increase confidence in the departments’ electronic operations. This document will further regulate the development of eGovernment at state and local levels, as well as coordination at all levels, with the establishment of the eGovernment Council, which will be discussing professional issues, coordinate development and propose measures in the field of eGovernment. In addition, the draft law introduces national systems for electronic identification and electronic collection of administrative fees, the audit of state administration bodies , as well as the establishment of a catalog of electronic services.

Today’s session passed the Draft Law amending the Law on Contracts for Road Transport. The amendments defines novelties related to the obligation of the bus station manager to provide assistance to persons with disabilities on boarding, moving in and out of the bus station, getting on and off the bus, loading and unloading luggage and introducing a guide dog on the bus. The amendments also set out an increase in the amount of compensation for damage caused by the death of passengers, bodily injury or damage to the health of passengers in international road transport, as well as damage caused by the total or partial loss or damage of luggage. Provisions relating to the increase of the amount of compensation shall enter into force on the day of Montenegro's accession to the European Union.

The Government adopted the Concession Plan for the Kotor-Lovćen cable car project for 2020. The adoption of this document enables the initiation of a concession procedure for the Kotor-Lovćen cable car project, as a form of encouraging private investment in the pursuit of public interest activities in order to achieve optimal tourist valorisation of extremely valuable natural resources and cultural heritage. The main objective of the project is to connect the territory of the Old Royal Capital of Montenegro with the tourist centre in the Bay of Kotor, the northwestern side of the Lovćen Mountain, through a modern, ecological and attractive system of transport infrastructure. The first phase, for which this Plan is adopted, is the most attractive section - from Dub station in Kotor to Kuk station in Njeguši – a 3.6 km long and 1.298 metres high section, which is very challenging in terms of construction and the necessary careful attitude towards the natural and cultural heritage. During the presentation of the Plan, it was emphasised that the economic projections made for the purposes of this project are based, inter alia, on the following assumptions: the duration of the concession is 30 years, the construction period is 1 year and the period of operation is 29 years, and that immediately after the adoption of the Plan, a new tender for the selection of a private concessionaire for the cable car section from the Dub location to the Kuk location will be invited. Furthermore, the discussion stated that in the case of implementation of the whole project according to the planning document, it would be the longest tourist cable car in the world - a project that represents a unique tourist offer for local and foreign guests. The whole project envisages the construction of a 15 km long cable car with gondolas, and the ride from the foothills, from Dub station to Cetinje at 600 m above sea level, would take 43 minutes. The project envisages 4 stations on the route, two starting in Cetinje and Kotor, as well as two interstices of Kuk and Ivanova korita.

The Government adopted the Information on the Draft Financial Agreement between the Government of Montenegro and the European Commission on the Annual Action Programme for Montenegro for 2018 and accepted the Financial Agreement. The 2018 Annual Action Programme supports four IPA sectors: democracy and governance, rule of law and fundamental rights, agriculture and rural development, and education, employment and social policies, that is, the health sub-sector. The total value of the programme is 38,777,274.80 euros, of which the EU funds amount to 36,186,977 euros, while for the purposes of national co-financing the budget 2,590,297.80 euros will be allocated.

Today’s cabinet session adopted the Decision on the amount and manner of payment of the fee for the protection and improvement of the environment of the Municipality of Pljevlja. The municipality of Pljevlja, as the most polluted municipality in Montenegro, is the first local self-government unit to decide on the environmental protection and environmental protection compensation, based on the Law on the Environment. The Decision prescribes the obligation to pay the environmental protection and promotion fee for legal entities that perform activities related to energy production and extraction industries on the territory of the Municipality of Pljevlja, which adversely affect the state of the environment, and which are recognised by this act as a specificity of the Municipality of Pljevlja with respect to application of Article 79 of the Law on the Environment, which provides for the possibility for a local self-government unit to prescribe a fee for environmental protection and promotion, in accordance with its needs and specificities. The fee is based on the annual revenue generated from the sale of raw materials, semi-finished products and products in the country and abroad in the amount of 1.7% of the generated revenue. Revenues generated from this compensation belong to the budget of the local self-government and must be used for the purpose of protecting and improving the environment in the territory of the local self-government unit. The obligation to pay the fee is limited to large companies operating on the territory of the Municipality of Pljevlja dealing with the extraction industry (coal mine, lead and zinc mine) and energy production (Termal Power Plant Pljevlja). The discussion pointed out that the Municipality of Pljevlja estimated that on the basis of this compensation, between 2.5 and 3 million euros could be generated annually, which would be used for the implementation of measures for the protection and improvement of life.

The Government adopted the Information on remediation of black ecological points in the Municipality of Pljevlja. Within the project "Industrial Waste Management and Cleaning", remediation of two black ecological points in the Municipality of Pljevlja is being carried out - ash and slag landfill Maljevac and flotation tailing "Šuplja stijena". The phase remediation of the Maljevac landfill will start to be realised from the Loan Agreement related to the Industrial Waste Management and Cleaning project, while the remaining phases of the Maljevac landfill remediation will be implemented and financed by the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro, with the planned completion of work in June 2020. The chosen option for remediation of the lead and zinc flotation tailing pond will provide additional opportunity for reclamation of the remodeled area and a sustainable and long-term solution for this specific site. The planned deadline for completion of the works worth EUR 7.8 million is June 2020.

The Cabinet adopted the Information on activities on the implementation of the reconstruction project of the first block of Thermal Power Plant Pljevlja. As emphasised when presenting the Information, the ecological reconstruction of the TPP is a multi-year project, which should ensure full compliance of the plant's emissions with European regulations. It is planned that the contract with the first-ranked bidder will be signed by the end of the year, after which the construction and revision of the main project will be completed within a period of 6 months, and work on the ground will begin after obtaining the building permit. The phase of the solution was adjusted to the need for urgent solution of the district heating, so it was planned that the heat extraction from the turbine for these needs would be provided at the first regular shutdown of the power plant, i.e., at the very beginning of the project’s implementation. In that context, the project of ecological reconstruction of the existing block will provide the heat source for district heating purposes within the same time frame, as would be the case for the construction of the new block of the Thermal Power plant Pljevlja. In this way, the obstacles in the realisation of the project are not reflected negatively on the heating project.

The Government adopted the Information on activities on the implementation of the Pljevlja heating project. In order to find solutions for the most efficient solution of the problem of flood pollution through the implementation of the heating project, the competent ministry in the previous period disputed a number of activities, in cooperation with the EPCG and the Municipality of Pljevlja. Through the realisation of the project of reconstruction of the existing block of TPP Pljevlja, certain activities have been envisaged in order to use the TPP Pljevlja itself as a heat source for heating of the city of Pljevlja, including heat abstraction from the turbine system, heat exchanger and pumping station. Activities for the implementation of projects related to environmental improvement will be implemented by the Municipality of Pljevlja, and will be financed by the Public Works Administration, in accordance with the Draft Contract on the implementation of the programme "Environmental Conservation Projects". The Government tasked the Ministry of Economy, together with the Municipality of Pljevlja, to implement the energy efficiency projects within two years, at the facilities being heated from the Skerlićeva boiler room.

The Government adopted the Information on the implemented projects and those that will be implemented on the territory of the Municipality of Pljevlja in terms of road infrastructure (main and regional roads). Crkvica – Vrulja road project, worth EUR 5 million, as well as the reconstruction project for the Tara Bridge and access roads, have been already completed. Works have been underway on the reconstruction of the Pljevlja – Metaljka, an almost 17 km long regional road, for which EUR 12 million has been allocated, while offers were opened for the reconstruction of the Pljevlja – Mihajlovica main road, worth EUR 8 million.

In order to improve the availability and quality of health care services, the Government adopted the Information on the problem of impaired functioning and inadequate spatial capacities of the General Hospital Pljevlja and the need to build a new hospital building. Bearing in mind that the General Hospital Pljevlja provides health services for the areas of the municipalities of Pljevlja and Žabljak with around 40,000 inhabitants, and that during the tourist season this part of the tourist region is visited annually by 90,000 tourists, as well as difficult functioning conditions and inadequate spatial capacities, the location for the construction of the new Pljevlja General Hospital building was envisaged. The construction of the new building will significantly contribute to improving the quality of life of the citizens of this area, working conditions of employees, that is, developing spatial and functional capacities that will be the motive for existing doctors to stay, but also for new doctors to come. The Government has tasked the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, the Public Works Administration and local self-government, to create the preconditions for the construction of the new building of the General Hospital Pljevlja.

The Government adopted the Information on the Analysis of the Incentive Programme for the construction of small hydro power plants and tasked the Ministry of Economy to start negotiations on the consensual termination of the contract for the construction of small hydro power plants on Bistrica River in Bijelo Polje, Murinska, Komaračka and Đurička Rivers in Plav, Trepačka River in Andrijevica and Bukovica River in Šavnik.