Skopje, 23 March 2020 – The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services has decided to grant financial assistance – a donation – for coping with the consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), in the total amount of MKD 105,000,000.00 (one hundred and five million denars).
Most of the funds, i.e. MKD 103,000,000.00, are to be allocated to the broadcasters as follows: MKD 73,000,000.00 to the broadcasters (commercial and non-profit), which are currently conducting television or radio broadcasting, while MKD 30,000,000.00 are to be allocated to the Public Broadcasting Service, i.e. the Macedonian Radio and Television. These funds are being allocated for the purpose of protecting the broadcasters’ employees through purchase of protection equipment, expenditures related to the production, procurement and broadcasting of programme, alleviating the adverse effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on their economic performance and enabling their smooth functioning.
The Agency will also allocate MKD 1,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Health each, for taking up measures and activities for the protection of their employees through the purchase of protection equipment and procurement of other equipment and means necessary for carrying out the Ministries’ activities for the purpose of preventing, preventing the spread of the Coronavirus and dealing with its consequences.
The funds intended for the broadcasters will be allocated as follows:
- All broadcasters that have paid the 2019 and 2020 annual television or radio broadcasting fee to the account of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services, shall be reimbursed the amount of these license fees, reduced by the amounts of the value-added tax. The total amount of funds allocated on these grounds is MKD 65,099,000.00;
- As regards the broadcasters whose deadline for paying the annual license fee expires after the adoption of the Decision on this Donation, and this by the end of 2020, the Agency shall not claim payment of the annual fee but shall issue them invoices to the amount of the value-added tax only. The total amount of funds allocated on the basis of this decision is MKD 7,901,000.00.
The Agency shall conclude donation agreements with all entities, which will enter into force immediately upon signing on the part of the contracting parties and will be implemented following the receipt of a favourable opinion on the public interest by the Ministry of Justice.
The Agency hopes that this measure will help facilitate the broadcasters’ operations and will enable smooth functioning on their part. At the same time, it calls on all media once again to do their reporting professionally and responsibly and to provide the public with accurate, timely and objective information.