Democratic Party: Port of Novi Sad sold for pittance

The tendering commission has decided that the bid submitted by P&O Ports Dubai for the acquisition of the Port of Novi Sad was successful, the state secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Dragan Stevanovic, said.

“They offered the initial price of EUR 7.99 million and all the details of the bid are valid and in line with the public call,” Stevanovic told the press after the opening of the bid at the Ministry of Economy.

He said that the new owner should invest over EUR 15 million the Port of Novi Sad over the next three years, which is in line with the agreement that will be signed in the next few days, under which the investment should not be lower than EUR 14.9 million. This investment is also in line with Serbia’s strategy for the development of port activities. 

At the previous tendering procedure, the initial price was twice as high, EUR 15.98 million, but no bids were received, despite the deadline being extended twice. Around 150 people work at the Port of Novi Sad, which has been profitable in the past four years. 

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However, not everybody thinks that P&O Ports Dubai’s bid was close to the real value of the port.

The Democratic Party (DS) said that selling the port for less than EUR 8 million is far from the real value of this company that has strategic importance.

The head of Vojvodina’s branch of the Democratic Party, Nebojsa Novakovic said that the price was only half of the estimated value of the port’s assets and underlined that an independent economic analysis would show that selling the port at the said price was damaging to Novi Sad, Vojvodina and Serbia.

“The sale of such a company for a pittance can only be explained by the corruption and personal interests of those who, on behalf of the state, are selling out the national wealth and economic future of the country,” Novakovic said.

He added that all privatizations carried out under the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) were done in the same way, in an extremely non-transparent manner, with only one bidder and conditions that were set for a known buyer.

“PKB, Nikola Tesla Airport and RTB Bor, and now Luka Novi Sad, were all sold in this way. These are no longer individual cases, but an obviously a carefully created and elaborated mechanism in which the state and its citizens are stripped off valuable assets and resources, while certain private companies and individuals are generating huge wealth overnight,” Novakovic concluded.

(Danas, 24.03.2019)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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