What do the changes to the Law on Construction bring?

60,000 companies operate in the Serbian construction sector, which employs more than 200,000 people. Those companies also have direct ties to production in 22 other industrial branches. Officials expect that by amending the Law on Planning and Construction, they will improve the sector, solve current problems and increase income.

However, some experts see these quick changes to the law as a way for certain individuals and companies to make a quick profit.

According to the changes, the repeal of the Law on Conversion Fee will “unlock” more than 5,000 construction sites, where more than 15 million square metres of housing/industrial space can be built.

Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Goran Vesić, points out that the conversion of land without compensation will not be cancelled for sports facilities because, as he says, they are the subject of a separate law.

The law professor, Miloš Živković, says that there is no doubt that the abolition of the conversion fee is a useful move in an economic sense since the construction sector has a 6% in the national GDP and it contributes to higher employment while supporting the development of other industrial branches.

Architect and urban planner Dr Iva Čukić, underlines that the amendments to the law did not take into account the public interest at all or what experts had to say on the matter. She believes that the changes are intended to expedite various processes, such as the issuance of building permits, improve the availability of information about locations of notaries public, the conversion of land from the right of use to the right of ownership, as well as giving greater authority to the Government of Serbia to implement plans through a special mechanism that cannot be monitored either by the National Parliament or local self-governments.

According to her, expediting the construction-related processes would allow individuals to make a quick profit.

The Chamber of Commerce of Serbia believes that the amendments to the law will ensure the construction sector’s greater contribution to the economic growth of Serbia, as well as amplify developers’ interest.

The Chamber’s President, Marko Čadež, says that, for the first time, and thanks to the amendments to the law, we are going to have a brownfield location registry – i.e. a list of buildings that have been neglected for decades but could be renovated or new buildings built in their place. “This means that if a developer wants to invest in a building that is in such a condition, they can renovate it or tear it down and build a new one in its place,” explains Čadež.

(RTS, 28.02.2023)

https://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/125/drustvo/5137778/gradjevinarstvo-izmene-zakona-konverzija.html

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