The Anti-Corruption Council recommended to the Government of Serbia to allocate subsidies and incentives according to priorities of national importance from real sources and not with the money from new loans, as well as to re-consider allocating very high subsidies to foreign investors.
“What is the purpose of subsidies, granted mainly to foreign investors, which from 2014 alone to the first half of 2020, amounted to more than 500 million euro in direct payments?” the Council asked in the report on incentives and subsidies in Serbia submitted to the government.
The report pointed out that the 2020 budget provided 95.8 billion dinars for subsidies, and that this amount increased to 278.2 billion dinars following two budget reviews.
“Such a large increase in state aid was not foreseen in the 2020 budget, so it can only be secured from credit funds, whereby the taxpayers have no access to information about terms and conditions of these loans,” the Council said.
The Council’s proposal is that subsidies and incentives and reliefs should be allocated in accordance with the Budget Law and not be subsequently changed by numerous regulations.
“The line state institutions, through which state aid is implemented, should analyze previously granted state aid and determine its effects, so that the policy of allocating new subsides and incentives should be harmonized with the previously achieved results,” the Council said in the report.
The report, published on the Council’s website (antikorupcija-savet.gov.rs), also assesses that the government should check whether the state aid received by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises is spent on the purposes for which it was determined and that production companies should have priority over those in the service sector, as is the case now.
The Council also recommends that higher subsidies be approved for environmental protection, as well as for agriculture and water management.
(Novi Magazin, 22.04.2021)
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