- Category: Economy
- Published on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 08:43
February 10, 2020
The reforms of the strategic state companies in Serbia progress at a slow pace and that “more efforts are needed to empower the corporative management and secure professional leaders in those companies,” Sebastian Sosa, the IMF Resident Representative in Serbia, the FoNet news agency reported.
Sosa told Radio Free Europe (RFE) that “we support (Serbia’s) authorities’ intention to, helped by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Developments (EBRD), prepare a document on the ownership over state companies, by July this year.”
IMF ranked Serbia at the 15th position out of 20 countries from Central and Eastern Europe reviewed based on state-owned companies’ governance in 2018.
RFE said that the biggest challenge Serbia faced was the implementation of the IMF recommendation regarding the reforms of the largest state-owned Electric Power company (Elektroprivreda Srbije).
"Serbia earmarks two percent of the GDP for the state help or three times more than the European Union members, and that the bulk of that money goes to the state-owned companies," Dusko Vasiljevic of the World Bank says.
EPS’ cumulative loss in 2018 was a billion Euros, according to the Business Register Agency.
The company is led by Milorad Grcic, a member and an official of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by President Aleksandar Vucic. Grcic has held the position as an acting director since 2016.
The runner-up was Srbijagas with some 949 million Euros. The long-time director is Dusan Bajatovic, a member of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), the leading SNS coalition partner.
The third place was occupied by the state-owned Putevi Srbije (Serbia’s Roads) firm, led by Zoran Drobnjak, from SNS, as an acting director for the last nine years. The company ended 2018 with 93 million Euros in loses.
In 2019, the Government additionally helped Koridori Srbije (Serbia’s Corridors) three times with a total of 23.7 million Euros to finish the construction of Corridor 10.
In 2018, Serbia allocated over 300 million Euros from the budget to help the state companies, according to Dusko Vasiljevic, from the World Bank (WB) office in Serbia.
He tells RFE that country earmarks two percent of the GDP for the state help or three times more than the European Union members and that the bulk of that money goes to the state-owned companies.”