Competences of the Minister of the Treasury within the scope of state aid
The Minister of the Treasury, exercising statutorily defined tasks and competences within the scope of corporate governance over state assets and their privatisation, acts, in a number of cases, as a body granting state aid to entrepreneurs.
The state aid granted by the Minister of the Treasury constitutes an important element supporting implementation of restructuring and privatisation processes in public enterprises and can assume two forms:
- Aid granted under restructuring processes – it is, in principle, of monetary nature, i.e. it assumes the form of a subsidy, a capital injection or a loan granted to an entrepreneur,
- Aid granted in privatisation processes – it consists in decreasing due performances of the entrepreneur (investor) through application of allowances as regards payment of dues arising from the privatisation agreement.
The aid activity conducted by the Minister of the Treasury is implemented with Community state aid regulations in mind, which is reflected by notification of every single monetary aid project granted in restructuring processes to the European Commission and release from the notification obligation of aid granted in privatisation processes implemented on the basis of aid programs developed at the Ministry of the Treasury.
The statistics concerning the volume of the granted state aid place the Minister of the Treasury in the category of leaders in Poland.
Moreover, within the area associated with the subject of state aid, the role of the Minister of the Treasury as the body which supervises public enterprises which act as aid beneficiaries and, additionally, in certain situations may also act as entities granting aid, becomes prominent.
It should also be noted that the scope of competences of the Minister of the Treasury which pertain to the subject of state aid should be additionally extended when the following legal changes are enacted:
- draft amendments to the Act on Commercialisation and Privatisation and the Act on the Principles of Implementation of Treasury Powers, - as the circle of beneficiaries of rescue and restructuring aid was extended to cover all state enterprises and companies with Treasury shareholding, irrespectively of their size,
- draft Bill on Transparency of Financial Relations between Public Bodies and Public Entrepreneurs and on Financial Transparency of Certain Entrepreneurs – whose provisions envisage a number of responsibilities to be imposed on the Minister of the Treasury which pertain to control of transparency relations in supervised enterprises.