The Minister of Finance in the Government of the Republic of Srpska, Zora Vidović, pointed out that the line ministry, in response to the first attack of the coronavirus on the economy, planned to allocate 120 million KM for taxes, contributions, minimum salaries and money for those economic entities in March, April, and May who worked during the pandemic but had a significant reduction in income.
“We paid contributions for the month of March in the amount of over 17 million KM. Also, to date, we have paid 20 million KM for 25,000 workers, with an additional three million KM that should have been paid today. Payments take place according to the dynamics as we receive the processed items. All items that are correct, that have been processed, will eventually be paid. Again, I am asking all economic entities to duly fill in the data for their workers so that their salary could be paid”, said Vidović.
Mentioning the legal decree for workers and employers who had a reduced scope of work, Vidović stated that the decree is made by the Ministry of Economy. It should be considered in the short term at the Board of the Compensation Fund from when the funds are distributed, after which the Government of Srpska should adopt the same decree.
– After the adoption of the decree, all received requests will be reviewed and payments will be made to the giro accounts of those companies – Vidović pointed out.
Noting that the current crisis, unlike the previous two from 1933 and 2009, did not affect the financial sector, which should adequately respond to it and help the economy, Vidović pointed out that after the payments, they planned for the RBI to offer loans to businessmen with reduced credit rate of 0.5 percent.
– Despite this, we are investing 25 million euros in the guarantee fund, which will make the Republic of Srpska a guarantor for businessmen who take loans mostly for working capital – said Vidović and added that tax liabilities will not be refinanced because their payment has been delayed.
– But that is why the Republic of Srpska will give a 50 percent guarantee to businessmen for working capital and the purchase of equipment, and the other 50 percent will be borne by the client who procures that equipment. I think that it will greatly encourage production and consumption because this crisis has had the greatest impact on these two items – said the Minister, adding that no debt is expensive if it is used to raise the economy to its original level.
She pointed out that the current estimate is that revenues in Republika Srpska will be reduced by 240 million marks, while the rebalance has been increased by 180 million marks and amounts to 3.613 billion marks. Therefore, he says, all obligations will be settled for budget users.
– Today, Prime Minister Višković and I had a video conference with all international investors who are interested in opening credit lines, investing money in health care and I think that by the end of the year we will be able to return the economy to the level it was before the corona epidemic broke out.
When it comes to the IMF funds that were allocated to Srpska, Vidović said that they planned to invest those funds in health care and the economy.
– We have already invested 135 million marks in health care and about 40 million in the economy. We still have to invest a part of those funds in these two branches, but it is certain that the investments will be much higher than these IMF funds – Vidović added.