When the former Minister of Economy Mlađan Dinkić announced the “guillotine of regulations” in 2008, involving elimination or simplification of excessive procedures, he also said this process would be finalized in 12 to 15 months! During the 11 years since, the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), which initiated the elimination of administrative obstacles, has issued a total of 11 editions of Grey Book with recommendations for cutting the red tape. It is also evident that even after a decade, businesses in Serbia still struggle with complicated procedures and regulations making their work harder.
NALED Policy Director Jelena Bojović explains for Ekonometar why the battle with administrative procedures is still ongoing, what are the greatest obstacles faced by businesses and whether the state understands the need for cutting the red tape.
– We have been providing recommendations for simplifying administrative procedures to the Government of Serbia for already 11 years. These recommendations are identified in cooperation with citizens and businesses and published in NALED's Grey Book. So far, we have provided proposals for reforming 210 most frequent and complicated procedures, of which a half has been implemented. Last year we published the tenth edition of Grey Book with 100 recommendations for simplifying the procedures. During the year we also provided support for implementing the solutions we proposed. As a result, 12 out of 100 recommendations have been implemented - eight entirely and four partially. On average, the institutions implement around ten recommendations a year - says Jelena Bojović.
According to her, businesses are mostly unsatisfied about the tax policy. Even though the Tax Administration has made a major step forward in establishing electronic services, starting from unified payment of salary taxes and contributions which used to be a major problem for businesses since they spent at least four million euros on this procedure, a large number of recommendations still refer to various aspects of tax procedures.
The entire article can be read in Ekonometar at the link (in Serbian).