Government and IMF reach agreement about public sector salaries and pensions

The salaries in the public sector will increase by 5-7%, pensioners will be paid RSD 5,000 or 6,000 each in the next few weeks, and the pensions will increase by 1.5 or 1.7% beginning with January 2017, said Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Following long negotiations, the Government and the IMF reached an agreement on hiking salaries in the public sector and pensions on Saturday.

As specified by Vucic at the press conference on Sunday, 30th October, the salaries in education will increase by 6-7%, in healthcare, police and military by 5%, whereas pensioners will get five to six thousand dinars of a one-off financial aid. Pensions are expected to receive an increase between 1.5 and 1.7% starting next year.

Representatives of the IMF Mission praised the good results of Serbia, following a detailed review, and pointed out that the state budget was stable and that they had seen a considerable progress made in the area of revenues, tax collection and reduction of expenditures. However, the IMF also pointed out that there were certain problems in the mining and chemical sectors.

As per agreement with the IMF, the Government of Serbia will continue to carry out the austerity measures and reforms, reducing the budget deficit and creating more favorable conditions for the economic growth. The IMF representatives are visiting Belgrade as part of the sixth review of the arrangement with Serbia.

Serbian Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic said that there was a 30-billion-dinar-surplus in the Serbian state budget at the end of October, while the total budget revenue since January is 81.5 billion dinars bigger than anticipated earlier.

The Prime Minister informed that almost all directors of public enterprises would be replaced by the end of this year because of their arrogance and bad results. “I am angry at myself too because of Azotara, MSK and Petrohemija. I have not double-checked the balance sheets of these companies and I believed the doctored ones that were shown to me. We have inherited the desolate Zelezara, as well as Petrohemija with its 400-million-dinar debt. The same goes for Azotara. I expected chemical companies to work better because of the reduced gas price”, Vucic said and praised EPS for having 500 million dinars in its account regardless of the not so favourable situation in the company.

 (Vecernje Novosti, eKapija, 30.10.2016)

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