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Jugoinspekt goes into private hands, the controller remains without control

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The state-owned company Jugoinspekt, which has been involved in quality and quantity control of almost all products in Serbia for 125 years, will soon have a private owner.

On September 5th, the Ministry of Economy announced a public call for letters of interest in participating in the privatization process of Jugoinspekt, which is majority owned by the state and has the status of a joint stock company.

That news caused violent reactions in the public, considering the nature of the work that Jugoinspekt deals with and the need to evaluate the quality of products, primarily food on the market, but also ores, energy, textiles, leather and other things, to be completely independent and devoid of any influence, from the producers themselves but also from the state.

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On the other hand, such independence would have to be controlled and preserved by the state itself.
Interlocutors agree that it is disastrous for such a company to be torn from state ownership and handed over to a private owner, over whom it will not be possible to exercise any control. On the other hand, they warn that it is even more dangerous that the new Law on the Management of Business Companies will enable the inflow of private capital or the complete privatization of any vital state-owned enterprise with AD or LLC status, despite the assurances of the top authorities that this will not be possible.

Melanija Lojpur, spokesperson of the Solidarity political platform believes that this procedure is an absence from sovereignty and one of the proofs of what will happen to other public enterprises that we convert to AD and LLC status.

We warned before that companies with AD or DOO status can easily be privatized. That was the reason why we fought against the Law on the Management of Business Companies. “The comments of the Government, the Prime Minister and other echelons that opportunely seized the state and its institutions, and who are trying to tell us that this law is not dangerous for citizens – have just been denied,” said Lojpur.

When private capital enters such a company, according to Lojpur, from that moment the state has no mechanism or possibility to control what is being done in it.

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The issue of this company concerns the Law on the Management of Equivalent Companies, the Law on Planning and Construction, which opens up the possibility to do literally whatever you want with that property, with that company and with control. Will we, like some countries, be in a situation where in a few years we buy out vital companies and return them to state ownership, asks Lojpur.

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