Republika Srpska Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Petar Djokic, said at today’s conference “Economy of Republika Srpska 2019 – 2022 – a dialogue for the future” in Banjaluka that Srpska has strong potential for further development via encouraging as much investment as possible and creating a new product.
Djokic believes that it is necessary to change the image of BiH as a country which, from the standpoint of business, is marked as an unregulated and unstable area, because there are many investors who recognize potential but are looking for security.
He has stressed that the Government of Republika Srpska promotes dialogue with the business community, which has given visible results, among which is the easing on the economy by increasing the non-taxable portion of income.
“Economy has saved some BAM 62 million, while at the same time it has been possible to increase salaries,” Djokic told reporters.
Noting that 75 percent of the memorandum on joint policies of the Government and the business community has been implemented so far, Djokic has said that the conclusions from today’s conference will be focused on creating economic policies for the coming years.
“The growth of industrial production has been visible for years, perhaps it is changing periodically in certain fields, but it has contributed to the overall growth of GDP and the share of industrial production in its creation,” Djokic has said.
Head of the Union of Republika Srpska Employers, Dragutin Skrebic, has said that the employers are considering salary increase, which is possible only on realistic grounds, because a fictitious increase without real income would lead to bankruptcy or cessation of work.
“We can increase wages by reducing public spending, taxes and contributions. The condition for it is also the introduction of new technologies, increasing productivity,” said Skrebic.
He has said that people are not leaving BiH only because of the salary level, but also because of the political situation that has an impact on economic development.
“The first and basic condition for economic stability to be at a higher level and to make the economic environment better, is political stability. While we have situation like this in BiH, it is difficult to talk about any kind of economy,” said Skrebic.
President of the Republika Srpska Chamber of Commerce, Borko Djuric, says that it is necessary to exclude “inaction from the work”, i.e. stop paying breaks.
“We have a law regulated forty-hour working week, of which two and a half hours are non-working and when it is converted, that is 6.7 percent. We suggest increasing the salaries by that percent, and that the breaks are used as such rather than paid. This is how we would provide a higher degree of competitiveness of our products. The breaks annually cost BAM 180 million,” Djuric has said.
He believes that there are too many bank holidays, and he calculated that one day of a holiday in the net amount according to the current average salary costs BAM 10.3 million.
Djuric has emphasized that the economic community is committed to the Tax Administration of Srpska publicly publishing a list of tax defaulters, as well as showing the average salary in certain business entities.
“We have cases that salaries in different economic entities differentiate by 80 percent from the average wage in that branch, which hides behind certain possibilities for a total salary increase, i.e. reducing the burden rate on salaries if those in the gray zone oblige to settle liabilities in accordance with the regulations,” Djuric has concluded.
The Conference “Economy of Republika Srpska 2019 – 2022 – a dialogue for the future” has been organised by the Republika Srpska Government, and the participants are, among others, representatives of the banking and non-governmental sector, as well as local communities.