The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved three loans to Serbia in the total amount of 225.7 million EUR.
The concrete benefit of the first loan will be felt by civil servants in Serbia who will not receive the same salary for the same job, EPS, Srbijagas and the Serbian Railways, while 70,000 households, that are currently unable to pay their electricity bills, will also benefit from the WB loans.
The first loan, called the Second Public Expenditure and Public Utilities Development Policy Loan, in the amount of 160.6 million EUR, is allocated as financial support to the government’s “multi-year effort to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending as well as the transformation of the energy and transport sectors,” the WB said in a statement.
The funds will also be used towards supporting the state-owned power utility EPS in achieving increased convergence of the guaranteed electricity supply tariff to reach market parity levels from 64% at the end of 2014 to 80% at the end of 2018 and increase in the distributor of natural gas Srbijagas’s collection rate of current receivables from the baseline of 80% in 2015 to 87%, the World Bank said. In the transport sector, the operation will continue to support reforms both in railways and roads with the goal to reduce direct budget operational support to the state-run operator of the Serbian Railways.
The second loan (in the amount of 40.1 million EUR) will be used on improving the performance of the state-owned shareholder, Postanska Stedionica, while the third loan, in the amount of 25 million EUR, will be allocated on supporting the quality and efficiency of care in the Serbian health sector and provision of new equipment for treatment of cancer in the province of Vojvodina.
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