Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Archive for 30 aprile 2013

American Chemical Society honors Senator Udall, Congressman Smith and OSTP Director Holdren for Public Service

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2013

WASHINGTON.White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John P. Holdren, Ph.D., U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) will receive the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) 2013 Public Service Award for their vision and leadership in public policy that benefits science, engineering and innovation.
Holdren, Smith and Udall will be honored at a Capitol Hill ceremony and public reception on Wednesday, April 24, which will be held in B-338-340 Rayburn House Office Building, 5-7 p.m. To attend, RSVP by Tuesday, April 23, at http://tinyurl.com/acspsa2013 or publicaffairs@acs.org.“ACS is pleased to recognize three national leaders who have dedicated their talents to public service and advanced science and engineering to secure the future of American innovation,” said ACS President Marinda Li Wu, Ph.D. “We are honoring Sen. Udall, Rep. Smith and Director Holdren for their contributions that span critical policy areas that help science, engineering and innovation to thrive: scientific research; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education; and a business climate that fosters innovation and U.S. global competitiveness.“Our nation has grown and benefitted enormously over many decades thanks to our scientists, engineers and innovators,” said Wu. “Their work and their contributions are made possible thanks to the essential policies that support science, research and education that these three leaders have championed. Truly, their work has been in the service of the American public.”

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Romania Modernizes Revenue Administration

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2013

WASHINGTON.The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved the EUR70 million Revenue Administration Modernization project for Romania. Through this project, the World Bank is partnering with the country to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the collection of taxes and social contributions; increase tax compliance; and reduce the administrative burden on taxpayers to comply with their responsibilities under the tax laws. The National Agency for Fiscal Administration (NAFA) will manage the implementation of the project.Modernization of revenue administration is an important component of the Government’s economic reform program. Despite recent fiscal adjustment efforts, the external environment in Europe and weak growth in Romania will continue to pose a risk to macroeconomic stability. Given the limited headroom for new spending there is a strong interest in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of revenue collection. The government of Romania places importance on an effective tax administration that can encourage voluntary compliance and deal with tax evasion in a more efficient and technology-aided environment.The World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2013 shows that in Romania there is still much to be done to improve the ease of paying taxes and reduce the high number of tax payments. Also, Romania has a large number of small taxpayers facing a complex tax regime – both taxpayers and NAFA must use resources to manage their responsibilities disproportionate to the revenue contribution made by this segment of the economy.Revenue performance gains during the boom years of 2004-07 were modest with the revenue-GDP ratio rising from 27.2 to 29.0 percent; while revenue losses during the recession were severe, with tax-GDP ratio dropping back to 27.2 percent in 2010. Romania’s tax efficiency index is one of the lowest in EU countries, at 54 percent and 61 percent for VAT and social contributions respectively.Investments in key government institutions, including and not limited to revenue administration, are an important pre-condition for Romania to continue its convergence with the European Union.A modernized NAFA means one that is more efficient and effective. In general, a modern tax administration will seek to minimize direct contact with the taxpayer, and taxpayer service is provided through the use of a robust self-service website, through an accessible call center, and other means available. Reduced physical contact also minimizes opportunities for corrupt behavior. The project will implement an improved taxpayer service function to meet these challenges. Once the project will be completed, NAFA staff will be properly trained and distributed across the organization, with a focus on staff re-assignment to key areas such as audit and debt collection.The development of the project design has been informed by past work, including a recent World Bank functional review of the Ministry of Public Finance, several International Monetary Fund (IMF) diagnostic reports, and various European Union (EU) studies. There are four main project components: (1) institutional development; (2) increasing operational effectiveness and efficiency; (3) taxpayer services and corporate communication; and (4) project coordination and management. The loan is a LIBOR-based Euro single currency IBRD Flexible Loan plus fixed spread, with 12-year maturity, including a five-year grace period, with level repayment pattern. The expected effectiveness date is October 2013.

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World Bank Continues Helping Industrial Enterprises in Uzbekistan Become More Energy Efficient

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2013

WASHINGTON. The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a US$100 million credit to the Republic of Uzbekistan as an Additional Financing to the Energy Efficiency Facility for Industrial Enterprises Project (UZEEF). The project is helping improve energy efficiency in the industrial sector resulting in reduction of power and fuel usage, and greenhouse gas emission. The proposed additional credit will co-finance energy efficiency sub-projects in industrial enterprises and ensure transfer of state-of-the-art technologies.Uzbekistan is one of the most energy intensive countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and a large carbon dioxide emitter. Reducing energy consumption and conserving energy are top economic priorities of the government. There is a wide consensus that the potential for energy savings is huge through implementation of energy efficiency measures in the industrial sector that uses outdated machinery and equipment. The project’s objective is to improve energy efficiency in industrial enterprises by designing and establishing a financing mechanism for energy saving investments. Improving energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption in industrial enterprises will improve the overall competitiveness of the Uzbek economy, free up scarce energy resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.The original UZEEF project has been successful and it is expected that the credit will be fully disbursed by the end of 2014, about 12 months ahead of original plans. The original project finances sub-projects with estimated energy savings of more than 50,000 MWh. The additional financing would further enhance and scale up the development impact of the project by financing more energy efficiency sub-projects with approximately 200,000 MWh energy saving potential and 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions reduction cumulatively.Two state-owned banks (Asaka Bank and Uzpromstroybank) and a private bank (Hamkorbank) are the financial intermediaries for the project. Although the industrial sector is quite varied, typical energy efficiency investments involve simple replacements or upgrades of boilers, replacement of outdated equipment and machinery, installation of variable speed drives, and the use of wasted heat for power generation. Energy intensive industries, such as metallurgy, chemical, building materials, and the food processing, with a relative high share of energy consumption in total production costs, are particularly good candidates for energy efficient investments.

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World Bank Continues to Support Croatia’s Innovation Potential

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2013

WASHINGTON.The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved the Second Science and Technology Project (STP II) in the amount of EURO20 million (USD$26.24 million equivalent). STP II will help those involved in research and innovation, including public research institutions, scientific communities, high performing scientists, and young researchers, to fully benefit from EU accession by increasing their capacity to apply for and implement EU-funded projects.STP II builds on a successful previous Science and Technology Project designed to strengthen Croatia’s innovation potential and increase its competitiveness by supporting the design and implementation of R&D programs managed by the Business Innovation Croatian Agency (BICRO) and the Unity through Knowledge Fund (UKF). It also assisted public research organizations to commercialize their research and improve the collaboration with the business sector.STP II will continue to support programs for small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) and scientists helping them to benefit from EU funds. This will be done by assisting selected public sector institutions design proposals and implement projects financed by EU funds. Through R&D financing, the project will help stimulate the demand for EU funds from the business and scientific communities, particularly SMEs, high performing scientists, and young researchers.“Experience from other EU member states shows that efficient use of EU funds for R&D and innovation has led to growth and productivity increases as well as creation of high skilled jobs, including for youth and women. This is of particular importance in times of economic crisis when public and private investments in R&D and innovation are limited.” said Mamta Murthi, Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries. “It is, therefore, vital for Croatia to seize the opportunity and efficiently use the forthcoming EU funds to further boost Croatia’s innovation potential. We are very pleased that Croatia has again chosen the World Bank to partner in this effort.”Since joining the World Bank in 1993, Croatia received support from the global development institution in the form of financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services. To date, the Bank has supported 48 projects in the amount of US$3.3 billion, and it has approved 52 grants with a total value of US$70 million.

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