Minister talks salaries, pensions, state-owned lossmakers

If Serbia's 3-year arrangement with the IMF is completed successfully, "citizens will be able to count on permanent foundations for growth."

Source: Beta, Tanjug
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

This will enable a rise of incomes and living standards, Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic said on Tuesday, Tanjug has reported.

"All the government is doing as part of the 3-year arrangement concluded with the IMF in February 2015 is aimed at creating a foundation for a permanent rise of salaries and pensions," Vujovic told reporters on the fringes of the Euromoney conference in Vienna.

As regards the Bor mining and smelting complex or the Pancevo nitrogen plant, the most important thing is to find a solution that would do away with their need for budget subsidies and enable them to attract investors, grow and develop over the long term, said Vujovic.

"It is important to keep those companies from 'bleeding' and enable them to find their place in the market to be able to survive... We have also specified with the IMF that this must be stopped and that the umbilical cord between those companies and the budget must be cut," Vucic told reporters.

The most serious global challenge Serbia is facing is an extremely complex and unpredictable situation in Europe and the world, but what matters far more for Serbia is how to boost investments, finalize the restructuring of state-owned loss-making companies and revitalize production, Vujovic said, Beta has reported.

He said it was "good that Europe had decided to continue a policy of monetary adjustment to market conditions - but it's unclear if the initiative would provide a sufficient boost to economic growth."

At the conference bringing together financial sector representatives of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region and beyond, Vujovic also discussed "managers' and trade unions' resistance" in state-owned lossmakers, "insisting that the restructuring required the observation of procedures and programs."

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