Republic of Srpska Prime Minister Radovan Višković has said that Srpska is not considering at the moment introduction of curfew, but that stricter fines will be introduced for a failure to abide by rules pertaining to physical distancing, face mask-wearing or the number of people gathered in one place.
Višković has said that the deteriorated epidemiological situation is the result of irresponsible behavior of individuals and warned citizens not to relax as the virus is still circulating and discipline is required from every individual.
He has said that it is good that sources of infection are known, and they are in 80% of the cases private socializing.
“A few days ago, we had 18 infections in two families as a result of private socializing,” he told RTRS.
He says he asked municipal police to more seriously control abidance by measures that are in force, and that local and republic inspectors control more hospitality establishments where they will issue warnings and fines if they turn a deaf ear on warnings.
Regarding reporting by a private media outlet that his wife tested positive for the coronavirus, Višković has said that a lawsuit will be filed for this fake news.
He says that it is no an accident that this was published at the moment when he, together with Serb BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik and Republic of Srpska President Željka Cvijanović, had a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as he is certain that someone was bothered by prospects of having Srpska represented in its full capacity at the meeting so they hoped to prevent him from attending it.
Višković says he is not prone to filing lawsuits, but that this time he cannot ignore fake news about his family.
Regarding the Compensation Fund, by way of which businesses receive aid, the prime minister has said that so far more than BAM 200 million has been allocated to the real and health sectors.
He has added that the Guarantee Funds will issue guarantees for small entrepreneurs, craftsmen, small and medium-sized companies, and its role is to provide for as more as possible funds to those who need them to overcome current problems with doing business.
“The Guarantee Fund will guarantee for 50% of the approved funds which will be distributed by way of commercial banks and microcredit organizations,” Višković said and added that banks and organizations have a deadline until tomorrow /Friday/ to send conditions regarding interest rates, grace period and the like.
He has said that unlike the Federation of BiH /FBiH/, Srpska included microcredit organizations in all of this, not only commercial banks.
Višković has said that it is planned that the Guarantee Fund will start operations in full capacity on July 1, and Srpska will thus become the first in the region to regulate this issue in this way.
Regarding the cooperation with FBiH Prime Minister Fadil Novalić, Višković has said that the cooperation is good and that thanks to it, some issues that were stalled for several years have been resolved.
“The TRANSCO BiH, a joint company at the level of BiH, was completely blocked in the past three years. All investments, the hiring of new people, the election of a new steering board, executive director, director general – everything was blocked. I fought this problem for a year and a half and I am satisfied that the Shareholders Assembly managed a few days ago to adopt a plan of investments and some decisions, managed to unblock the hiring of new people and investments of BAM 173 million for this year, even though it is certain that not all of them will be realized, but will enter a procedure,” Višković said.
He has added that more than BAM 70 million will go for investments in Srpska to be implemented by domestic companies.
Višković has said that the hiring of new people will resolve a problem that existed, namely, 13 Serbs less were employed than needed according to the Republika Srpska founding capital.
He has said that certain capacities of the TRANSCO, such as substations, transmission lines, are dilapidated, which is why the energy system is in danger, and that certain investments are slowed down by lengthy public procurement procedures.
The prime minister says that they managed to resolve the problem of the FBiH debt of BAM 24 million in indirect taxes, that a settlement agreement was signed and that the first of five or six installments will be paid on July 20.
He has said that the FBiH owed more than BAM 50 million to Srpska, but that Srpska also owed some money to the FBiH.
Regarding the construction of the Buk Bijela hydropower plant, Višković has said this project is 50 years old, and that an agreement was reached with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić that Serbia and Srpska will jointly implement it.
He has said that certain procedures needed to be followed and that some ten days ago a memorandum on founding a joint company was signed, which should be approved by the BiH Competition Council.
Višković has added that preparatory works can follow after that and that Srpska has prepared construction and ecological permits.
“I hope that, if there are no obstructions in the BiH Competition Council, we will start preparatory works on the Buk Bijela project before September, after 50 years, and I live for that day. If, in addition to the coronavirus, there is something that will mark my term, this is the Buk Bijela project and a highway from Doboj to Rača, namely, a highway from Banjaluka to Belgrade,” Višković said.