Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Chief economist criticizes Vedum’s answer about the purchase of Meraker Brug

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The control committee at the Storting is investigating whether Meraker Bruk was bought in violation of the rules for the use of oil money. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB

Of NTB | 08.05.2024 04:34:03

Economy and business: РAfter reading these answers, it is very difficult to see that Meraker Bridge is financed within the regulations, says Andreassen to Dagens Næringsliv.

The control committee at the Storting is investigating whether the purchase of the property for 2.65 billion is in line with the rules. The purchase was financed “below the line” in the state budget, which is basically only allowed for investments that are as good as having the money in the oil fund.

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Sp) defends the purchase by claiming that the state did not pay an excess price, and that it could thus be brought under the line. He refers to a value estimate that the government received from the company Pareto.

– Vedum’s defense is that the civil service thought Pareto’s valuation seemed reasonable. But the market price is not relevant for whether it is permissible to carry the purchase below the line or not: It should be about cash flows and returns, says Andreassen.

Before the acquisition in 2022, Meraker Brug was the country’s largest privately owned area. It is 1.3 million acres, with 229,000 acres of forest.

(© NTB)

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