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Ministry of Finance
of the Republic of Latvia
1 Smilsu st., Riga
LV-1919, Latvia

P.: +371-67095405
F.: +371-67095503
E-mail: pasts@fm.gov.lv
info@fm.gov.lv

History 02/04/2012

The History of the Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance was established at the end of 1918 by the first government of Latvia under the guidance of the first Minister of Finance Mr. Karlis Purins. The Credit Department, which issued and serviced government loans, was established later. In 1922, land credit files were transferred to the State Land Bank, but in 1924, city credit files were given over to the Mortgage Bank. In 1923, the State Treasury Department of the Ministry of Finance was also liquidated, and its transactions were taken over by the State Savings-and-loan and Credit Bank. In 1927, the Industry and Credit Departments were merged, forming the State Economy Department, while the Direct Taxes and Indirect Taxes Departments were joined to create the Taxes Department. In 1930, another two organisational units were established: the Trade and Industry Department and the Division of Economic Policy and Information. Once all changes were completed, the Ministry had the following organisational structure: the State Economy Department, Trade and Industry Departments, the Taxes Department, the Customs and Navigation Departments. The Ministry controlled all independent state enterprises and enterprises with state capital. (One of the organisational units that had this function was the Division of Flax and Alcohol Monopoly.)

In 1927, a special advisory institution, which provided consultations in state economy and forecasting matters, was established. In view of the economic crisis, the Import and Foreign Exchange Committees were established in 1931. In 1934, they were merged to form the Foreign Exchange Committee; however, the Committee failed to cope with all its tasks. Hence, the Foreign Trade Department, which included the Import, Foreign Exchange, Export and Trade Divisions, was established on November 1, 1938. The latter took over the functions of the Economic Contract Division of Trade and Industry Departments, but the Export Division was charged with the functions of the Foreign Trade Division of the above department. The following institutions were subordinated to the Ministry: the Balance and Measure Board, the Patent Board, the Sugar and Flax Monopoly, the Price Inspection, the Rationalisation Institute and the Institute of National Resources Research. The Ministry published the journal Economist.

In 1940s, the Ministry of Finance of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Latvia was founded, and it had the status of joint republic ministry.

The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia was restored in 1990, after establishing the Government of independent Latvia. Mr. Elmars Silins was appointed as the first Minister of Finance in accordance with the resolution passed by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia on May 14, 1990.

The State Treasure Department was founded on January 4, 1993. The formation of the State Revenue Service was completed in April 1994. The State Property Fund functioned from September 1994 to April 1996. Its duty was to list, manage and prepare for privatisation the state property. The successor to the State Property Fund was the State Joint-Stock Company State Real Estate Agency, which also currently is in charge of the state property.

The Ministers of the Ministry

Minister

from ...

...to

A.Slakteris

Mr. O.Spurdzins

Mr. V.Dombrovskis

Mr. G. Berzins

2007.20.12

2004.09.03.

2002.07.11.

2000.05.05.

 

2007.20.12.

2004.09.03.

2002.07.11.

Mr. E. Krastins

1999.16.07.

2000.05.05.

Mr. I. Godmanis

1998.26.11.

1999.15.07.

Mr. R. Zile

1997.27.02.

1998.26.11.

Mr. A. Skele

1997.22.01.

1997.26.02.

Mr. V. Melniks

1997.17.01.

1997.21.01.

Mr. A. Skēle

1996.02.10.

1997.16.01.

Mr. A. Kreituss

1995.21.12.

1996.01.10.

Mrs. I. Samite

1995.25.05.

1995.21.12.

Mr. A. Piebalgs

1994.15.09.

1995.25.05.

Mr. U. Osis

1993.03.09.

1994.19.09.

Mr. E. Silins

1990.14.05.

1993.17.03.

Mr. J. Blekte

1981.01.07.

1990.08.05.

Mr. R. Praude

1977.12.01.

1981.01.06.

Mr. K. Tolmadzevs

1961.24.03.

1977.12.01.

Mr. F. Manoilo

1952.28.08.

1961.24.09.

Mr. V. Lecis

1949.12.04.

1952.29.08.

Mr. A. Tabaks

1940.26.08.

1949.04.04.

Mr. J. Kaminskis

1939.26.10.

1940.16.06.

Mr. A. Valdmanis

1938.16.06.

1939.25.10.

Mr. L. Ekis

1934.16.05.

1938.15.06.

Mr. V. Gulbis

1934.17.03.

1934.15.05.

Mr. E. Rimbenieks

1934.17.03.

1934.15.05.

Mr. J. Annuss

1933.24.03.

1934.16.03.

Mr. M. Skujenieks

1932.21.02.

1933.23.03.

Mr. G. Zemgals

1931.11.12.

1932.20.02.

Mr. J. Annuss

1931.24.03.

1931.06.12.

Mr. A. Petrevics

1928.01.12.

1931.26.03.

Mr. R. Liepins

1928.08.03.

1928.30.11.

Mr. P. Jurasevskis

1928.24.01.

1928.07.03.

Mr. V. Bastjanis

1926.19.12.

1928.23.01.

Mr. A. Alberings

1926.10.09.

1926.18.12.

The Building of the Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance is situated in a building, constructed for the needs of the Ministry under the National Construction Programme of the Republic of Latvia. This building was to join all departments and institutions of the Ministry under one roof.

The total expenses, including the fee for tearing down houses occupying the building site, were estimated at 10 million lats. Its location was chosen near other institutions ensuring and controlling cash flow: the Stock Exchange, the Stock Exchange Bank, the Credit Bank, the Mortgage Bank, the Bank of Latvia, and several private companies. The Presidential Palace and the Saeima were situated in the neighbourhood as well. Since the narrow and winding streets of the Old Riga surrounded the chosen site, it was necessary to purchase and tear down some nearby buildings and to liquidate several mediaeval streets. Newer buildings of good condition were included in the building complex of the Ministry. In 1936, a tender for construction was announced, and architect Mr. A. Klinklā was chosen. He was the one to work out the project and undertake the general supervision of its implementation. Mr. L. Neiburgs was in charge of construction work. On May 8, 1937, the foundations were laid and a silver capsule with details on the building was immured. The building had to be constructed on piles, because when preparing a pit base, it was discovered that the building site included part of the bed of the River Rīdziņupe once situated outside the ancient city wall. Additional difficulties also arose because the base of the buildings to be included in the complex needed reinforcement.

The carcass of the Ministry's building was executed in brick and reinforced concrete, with massive partition floor covering. The facade of the building was in classical forms, enlivened with spare, yet expressive details: three stars in pilaster capitals, monograms of the Ministry of Finance in the grating of the basement windows and other places. Sandstone from the banks of the River Ogre was used for the first storey, but the rest of the building's exterior was finished with imitated stone. Granite used in the building came from Latvia and Finland.

The interior was planned impressive and monumental. The furniture for the vestibule of the minister's office was made of light Latvian birch after the sketch of Mr. Ansis Cirulis, and carpets for the waiting rooms were woven, following his designs. The walls in the rooms for representation were lined with wood panels and decorated with pictures by Latvian artists. The interior stairs were laid out with marble from Finland and Italy, but the imposing oak stairs at the minister's entrance were adorned with bronze mouldings. Flats for high-level officials of the Ministry were planned to be located on the upper floors.

The beginning of the World War II did not finish the construction works, which lasted from 1037 until 1940,; however, a part of the building was put into operation on February 9, 1940. The outstanding and magnificent architectonic conception was not implemented in its monumental perfection.

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CONTACTS

Tālrunis uzziņām: 67095405

Lietvedības tālrunis: 67095578

Fakss: 67095503

E-pasts: info@fm.gov.lv

Adrese: Smilšu iela 1, Rīga, LV-1919, Latvija