National Strategy for Countering Shadow Economy Presented

The representatives of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) presented the National Programme for Countering Shadow Economy, the first strategic document stipulating four groups of comprehensive measures for resolving one of the burning issues of domestic economy. The aim of this Programme is to to reduce the scope of shadow economy from 30.1% to 26.7% of GDP, i.e. around 1 billion euros by 2020.

President of the NALED, Vladan Atanasijevic said on the occasion that the key measures of the National Programme will be more efficient supervision over shadow economy flows (better coordination of inspections, cooperation between inspections and customs), reduction of administrative and para-fiscal burden to businesses, improving the system of fiscalization and expansion of fiscalization scope, tax exemptions for entrepreneurs and new businesses, raising awareness on the negative effects of shadow economy and strengthening tax morale of citizens.

According to NALED’s calculations, as a result of shadow economy, every day the Serbian budget is deprived of 8 million Euros, and every citizen loses one average salary.

The U.S. Ambassador Michael Kirby said that the adoption of the National Program is a major step towards countering shadow economy, stressing that illegal work and informal employment diminish the economic development of the country.

The German Ambassador to Belgrade Axel Dittmann pointed out the negative effects of the gray economy on the business climate and economic growth of the country, as well as the need for citizens to understand its consequences in terms of reduction of investments in health care, and the education system thus effectively hurting themselves and other by not payinig taxes. He also noted that this effort will send an important signal about Serbia’s path towards the EU and  a message to foreign investors about transparency and stability in the state.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said: “Every day when the state says it needs to collect taxes, we are faced with reactions that we only take. The next day, the same people say that the state needs to pay something else. If we ask the state to do something, we need to make all stakeholders to participate in the market”.

Kori Udovicki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, pointed out that in the last 10 months 15,000 employees were reported as unregistered. “This is a financial discipline that reduces the maneouverig space and the number of those who do not pay taxes. It reduces the number of entrepreneurs who don’t pay taxes, as well as the amount of unpaid taxes. It  is also important that the measures don’t harm businesses but rather introduces financial discipline”, said Udovicki.

“Those who turn out to be extremely good with paying taxes will be included into a ‘white list’ of sorts which will show the names of the entrepreneurs who respect the rules. These entrepreneurs will be able to obtain the incentives “, added Udovicki.

(23.12.2015, Tanjug/Blic/Serbian Monitor)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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