Republic of Srpska Minister of Finance, Zora Vidović, says that she did not get an impression in yesterday’s meeting with representatives of the Central Bank of BiH that they were willing to help the situation caused by a coronavirus, although they have potential to do so.
“Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik has repeatedly sought the assistance from the Central Bank, which should be involved in such difficult times to help the economy. We sought that the reserve is reduced from 10 to 5 percent to release some of the funds for the economy, but there is no mood for that,” Vidović told the RTRS.
She specified that this would have freed up BAM 1.3 billion, and stated that she suggested buying the bonds of entities for these funds, which the Central Bank refused and showed distrust in the entities.
“The only positive thing we have noted today is that there are enough funds, cash, and it is not necessary for the population to withdraw more funds,” Vidović added.
“The Srpska Government will not allow any business entity to be shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We will do everything to keep these businesses operating, but they must also be socially responsible as we all have to bear some of the burden,” Vidović concluded.
She specified that for the time being, the Government has two packages of measures which are not final because it is not yet known how much damage will be done.
“The first package of measures includes a prolongation of all liabilities according to the balance sheet for the last year, which entrepreneurs should now pay by April 1, but will be able to pay in installments in the second part of the year,” Vidović explained.
She added that the measures apply to those who have reported their liabilities, while those who failed to do so will not be entitled to any relief.
“For small craftsmen with up to two employees, we reduced the flat-rate tax of BAM by 60 percent,” Vidović said.
According to her, the banks have also shown that they are in a position to help the economy, thus a program of measures will be adopted with the Banking Agency to reprogram certain loans, reschedule the payment of installments and terms.
“All taxpayers who behave responsibly towards workers and who do not dismiss them or reduce their salaries can expect government’s assistance,” Vidović concluded.
She stated that regardless of the situation caused by coronavirus, the budgetary situation is still good, all liabilities are being settled.
“We are still liquid, but we expect a clear fall in revenues in the coming period due to the developments in the economy, with many businessmen being unable to export their goods, to import raw materials and caterers not working,” Vidović added.