The House finance committee on Monday wrapped up the discussion of the 2017 budget for the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA), amid criticism from opposition MPs that the privatisation of Limassol port has been a failure.
The CPA’s budget will be going to the House plenum for a vote this Friday.
The authority’s expected revenues are €34.49m. Ordinary expenditures come to €24.34m, and contingencies an additional €1m.
This produces a surplus of €9.14m.
But factoring in prior development costs of €36.19m, the balance sheet will post a deficit of €27.05m.
Thrasos Tsangarides, a member of the CPA’s board, told MPs that the authority requires the freeing up of 15 positions.
The positions must be filled because these are persons who will regulate and supervise the operations of the three private companies granted commercial concessions at the port of Limassol.
Tsangarides noted, for example, that due to the lack of experienced staff it took the CPA some two weeks to be able to determine that a fine of €40,000 should be slapped on one of the commercial operators at the port.
Speaking to reporters after the committee session, Akel MP Stefanos Stefanou again lambasted the government for rushing to privatise the commercial operations at Limassol harbour.
No one seems to know how much money the state will earn from the privatisation exercise, he added.
“When the government sought to push ahead with the privatisations issue, the ministers responsible talked of the state getting €2.1bn over a 25-year period. Now, with the discussions that followed the recent problems at the port, these calculations have declined sharply, to about €1.2bn.”