There will be no amnesty for the debts of the religious denominations. They will be rescheduled. The news was announced by the head of GERB Parliamentary Group Tsvetan Tsvetanov and the Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov on 13th of March. The turnabout came a few days after the amendments to the Religious Denominations Act were approved by the Parliament at first reading with the votes of GERB and the MRF. The amendments provided for writing off more than 8 million and 200,000 BGN of debts, the largest part of which - 8 million and 100 thousand BNG – is owed by the Grand Mufti's Office.
The majority partner in the coalition government, GERB, changed its position after many criticisms in the public domain that one religion was tolerated. The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party alleged that the debt write-off was part of a deal between GERB and the MRF.
Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB PG leader said at a briefing that the debt incurred until the end of 2018 willnot be written off, but will be rescheduled. He added that all outstanding proceedings by the National Revenue Agency will be suspended.
Finance minister Goranov said that the rescheduling of the debts would make it possible to pay salaries.
Vladislav Goranov - Minister of Finance: This is an existing method in the Tax and Insurance Procedure Code, this is not some innovation. It will enable the law on religious denominations to fulfill its main purpose - to finance the salaries of the clergy of the different faiths in order to be partially secured by a subsidy from the budget.
The minority partner in government, the United Patriots, who opposed the amendments earlier, said they were now pleased.They said that rescheduling is the right way, and it is fair and just for everyone to pay their debts.