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Montenegro: The government praises the consolidation of finances, opposition criticizes tax increases

Montenegro: The government praises the consolidation of finances, opposition criticizes tax increases
Podgorica, December 23, 2013 / Balkan Independent News Agency

In Montenegro, the government says that it has managed to consolidate public finances, while the opposition criticizes tax increases on citizens.

Prime minister Milo Djukanovic (photo), defended on Monday in parliament, where he faced questions from MPs, the work of the government as far as financial situation is concerned.

Milutin Simovic MP from the Democratic Party of Socialists asked as to what were the results achieved by the government in the domain of the consolidation of public finances, but also in the aspect of European and Euro Atlantic integrations.

Prime minister Djukanovic said that through the implementation of the program, the government has been committed in consolidating public finances.

He said that budget expenses have been 110 millions Euros more than in 2012. Mr. Djukanovic added that budget deficit has decreased by 30% in comparison to last year.

“In 2013, we have paid all the obligations of the state. This year has been identified as the year of fight against informal economy”, said Mr. Djukanovic.

Process of EU integration is moving fast

This year, Montenegro has achieved significant results in the domain of integration.

Prime minister Milo Djukanovic said that in the domain of European integration, the continuation of quality reforms has been the main focus, something, which according to him, will offer a quality integration of Montenegro in the NATO and EU.

On the other hand, deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Igor Luksic says that next year, the government of Montenegro is expecting a dynamic agenda in the implementation of the obligations for accession in the EU and NATO. Mr. Luksic says that the priorities of the work of the government for next year will consist on the intensification of bilateral relations withg neighboring countries, with the most developed and most influential countries of the world along with strengthening cooperation with Montenegrin emigrants. For Mr. Luksic, further promotion of the economic potentials of Montenegro is also neccessary for 2014.

2014 budget, 1.4 billion Euros

The government has sent to parliament for voting next year’s budget with a value of 1.5 billion Euros.

With the votes of PDS, PSD and Bosnian Party, the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget has demanded to parliament to vote the proposed budget.

Against the budget were the MPs of PSP, while MPs of the Democratic Front and Positive Montenegro didn’t participate in the meeting of the Committee.

With next year’s budget, deficit is predicted to be 66 million Euros, while planned capital budget is predicted to be 92 million Euros.

Minister of Finance, Radoje Zugic says that the planned budget reflects the current economic reality.

PDS member of parliament, Zoran Vukcevic said that public debt has been held under control according to the Mastricht rules.

Mr. Vuksevic pointed out the fact that at the beggining of 2013, the new package of fiscal measures has been interoduced, which he said they have produced results.

PSP member of parliament, Aleksandar Damianovic, who has become chairman of the Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget, says that Montenegro needs taxing radicalism against irregular tax payers.

Meanwhile, Damir Shehovic from PSD said that his party insists on an economic turn. He added that he encourages austere policies in order to grant state guarantees.

PSD, against new taxation. Government: Tell us if you have a better plan

Social Democratic Party MPs say that they will not support government plans for an increase of taxes for mobile phone users. The government has decided to impose a 7% tax on monthly phone expenses over 5 Euros from the start of 2014. This tax is currently 1% and an increase of 7% is seen by the opposition as unacceptable.

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said that the Government was ready to accept a solution better than a tax on mobile phone bills higher than EUR 5 if there was any.

He repeated that the Government had unwillingly decided to introduce charges on SIM cards and electricity metres, and to replace them now with a tax on mobile phone bills.

Damir Sehovic, PSD lawmaker said that the increase of this tax is unfair. He suggests that the government can collect more incomes through invoices of ElektroEkonomia instead of applying tax increases. /ibna/

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