Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that more than EUR 5 billion is allocated for the recovery package for the coronavirus-affected Serbian economy, and announces that minimum wages will be provided to small and medium-sized enterprises for three months.
In addition, he said that each adult citizen would get EUR 100 as financial assistance.
Vucic told the Prva TV that his programme will help the business sector, both small and medium enterprises and large companies, and economic managers are also considering how to help in particular the smaller enterprises, i.e. farmers or dairy producers.
In addition, Vucic has announced special support for the hospitality industry. At the same time, there will be no reduction in public sector wages, as well as pensions.
The President also pointed out that the state has allocated EUR 700 million to support micro- and small businesses in order to keep them afloat after the crisis, and that companies that have not laid off more than 10% of their workers will receive an incentive, while all those who have hired new employees will be rewarded.
“To all entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises and small businesses, regardless of the length of this crisis, we will pay the minimum wage for three months to every small business owner, be it a hair salon, a shoemaker, a baker or a taxi driver, all without exception, to each of their employees.
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The payment will not start after the end of the state of emergency, but in one month, because the state needs two months to see how many workers have been laid off in total. If a company has laid off workers and hired them back, they will still get incentives,” Vucic added.
“The banks will have to invest EUR 2 billion in the economic system, of which we will cover between EUR 480 million and EUR 600 million, plus about EUR 550 million to be negotiated with the banks. That is EUR 1.2 billion in total to finance small businesses,” Vucic said.
“Some of the 2 billion will not be used in the best way possible, but we still want to inject more money into the economy,” Vucic went on to say.
The agreement with the banks will be concluded soon and the NBS governor and the Finance Minister have already spoken to the banking associations.
“Our Development Fund does not have the capacity to find clients. Banks do that work much better than the Fund. The additional EUR 200 million will be invested under the best possible conditions so that the interest on the loans does not exceed 1% and that we can grant a grace period,” Vucic concluded.
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