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Bulgaria: World Bank Approves $24 Million Loan

Washington, 5 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The World Bank has approved a $24.3 million loan to Bulgaria to implement administrative reforms in the National Social Security Insitute (NSSI) and to restore the financial strength of the Social Security Fund.

The bank says that because of the importance of social insurance to economic stability, Sofia is working to eliminate social insurance subsidies and develop a "multi-pillar" system with private sector employers providing supplements to government social security benefits.

The four-year project being underwritten by the World Bank loan will develop a modern payroll tax collection system in a centralized operation in Sofia, as well as provide training and guidance for the NSSI in policy analysis, actuarial forecasting and other skills needed to manage the social system's resources.

The European Union's Phare program, U.S. AID and Britain's Know-How Fund are providing additional technical assistance and training.