‘2.8 billion lira transferred to Ministry’s R&D fund missing’: Opposition MP

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara MP Murat Emir has said that 2.8 billion lira (~350 thousand US dollars) in the Research and Development (R&D) fund of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure is missing. According to Emir, 796 thousand lira has been most recently transferred to the fund, but this money is also missing.

Bringing the issue into the Parliamentary agenda, CHP’s Emir has stated, “We know that this money is not around and the transfer was made only on the paper. Because the Treasury seizes the money in the Research and Development (R&D) fund to close the budget deficit, just as it seizes every accumulated fund for the same purpose.”

Submitting a Parliamentary question to the Parliament to be answered by Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, the MP has underlined that research and development projects in the fields of highways, railways, electronic communications, IT, aviation and space technologies must be supported with the money, but it is not done.

According to Emir’s question, the amount of money accumulated in the R&D fund of the Ministry was 3 billion 118 million 542 lira in 2019. While 153 million lira of this money was transferred to the TURKSAT 6A satellite, 143 million lira was transferred to Turkish Space Agency. The remaining 2.8 billion lira was then transferred to be used in the next year.

Emir has said, “In the 2020 activity report of the Ministry, it was indicated that 3 billion 791 million 795 thousand lira was accumulated in the fund and 195 thousand 87 thousand lira of this money was transferred to the Turkish Space Agency. It was also stated that the unused budget item was transferred to next years. While the related unused budget item was 2.8 billion lira in 2019, it reached 3 billion 596 million 657 thousand lira in 2020.”

‘Treasury seizes the money’

Murat Emir has noted that this money collected thanks to the cuts made from various institutions and it must be used to fund R&D projects.

“In its annual activity report, the Ministry indicates that the money collected in the R&D fund has been transferred to the next year, saying, ‘As applications for support were not received according to invitation procedure, applications for projects were not received.’

“We know that over 3 billion lira is not actually around and the transfer is made only on paper. Because the Treasury seizes the money in the R&D fund to close the budget deficit gap, just as it seizes every accumulated fund for the same purpose. Everytime we ask where this money went, but either the Minister tells us about the legislation or he tries to save grace with a one-sentence circumlocution,” Emir has underlined further. (HA/SD)

Source; Bianet

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