Riga, February 11, 2021 - Today the Cabinet of Ministers (MK) approved the provisions of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) regarding the criteria and procedures for evaluating and issuing new state loans to municipalities for the mitigation and prevention of the effects of the crisis caused by Covid-19. The Law on the State Budget for 2021 provides that EUR 150 000 is available for municipal loans this year.

Minister Artūrs Toms Plešs (AP!): “In order to minimise Covid-19's negative impact on the economy, VARAM continue to implement a national lending programme for municipal investment projects to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the economy. As recently as last year, public loans will be eligible for high-readiness projects, thereby providing job opportunities for both entrepreneurs and residents. m. In addition, this year we have significantly extended the criteria for the implementation of projects that municipalities may receive from the State loans, both in terms of the availability of residential space in the regions, and in terms of investment projects for the development of social care centres in line with hygiene requirements, including the restriction of Covid-19."

In order to strengthen the economy and minimise the negative effects of Covid-19 on the economy, including possibly providing job opportunities for the population, the Ministry will prioritise high-readiness municipal projects for the receipt of the State loan, which should be implemented as early as this year and completed by December 2022 at the latest. 

For the receipt of the State loan, local governments will be able to put forward projects: energy efficiency measures for local government buildings; development of local government transport infrastructure; construction or conversion of bridges, transmission and portages within the infrastructure of the road and street complex; development of new forms of provision of local government services if one of the existing services is replaced by a new non-contact or autonomous solution a solution; support measures for adding residents' real estate to the public service provider's centralised sewer and water supply networks.

Similarly, the State loan will be received for the provision of hygiene requirements in pre-school education institutions; for the adaptation of buildings owned by the local government to the provision of local government services, if the functionality of the building or part thereof is changed within the framework of the investment project and the purpose of use is possible to ensure the provision of services in the long term; for the creation of rental apartments outside the local governments in Riga planning region. in existing buildings, in the process of rebuilding or renovating existing buildings and premises; local government amelioration systems for rebuilding, rebuilding or installing infrastructure; the development of building projects for projects the implementation of which is planned from European Union funds and other foreign financial assistance funds, or the implementation of which is planned from other financial means.

Specifically, with regard to reducing the distribution of Covid-19, VARAM included in the support programme the possibility for municipalities to receive a loan for the conversion or conversion of social care houses in line with hygiene requirements to apply such institutions to safe working conditions and the provision of services.

According to the regulations we have developed, local governments will have the possibility to submit high-readiness investment projects to the Ministry for funding by the first date of each month, but not later than 1 November 2021.The first investment applications CAN be submitted by municipalities by 1 March.

We also implemented a loan programme to mitigate and prevent the effects of the crisis caused by Covid-19 in the last year. From 1 June to 1 December 2020, investment projects with loans amounting to EUR 99 519 609.26 approved by the MK. Meanwhile, with municipal co-financing, the total amount of investment projects is 134 568 309, 58 EUR. Last year, 56 458 436 were allocated to municipalities. €65, this year they will receive a second tranche of funding of €43 061 172, €61.

The State loan was already granted last year to 53 projects focusing on the energy efficiency of municipal buildings, 222 projects for the development of municipal transport infrastructure, 15 projects launched for the development of new types of municipal services, 5 projects for ensuring population connections for water management, 12 funding for improving educational establishments in line with hygiene requirements. projects. 

Information prepared by:
Agnes Vārpiņa

Minister's advisor for communication and public relations,
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Tel. 67026478
e-mail: agnese.varpina@varam.gov.lv