Mali: The government will not allow the crisis to fall on the citizens

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The Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, stated that this year will be difficult, but that the state will not allow the burden of the crisis to be transferred to the citizens and the economy, but will help them to the maximum.

“The current situation in the world is such that any forecast for next year would be frivolous and hasty, because the situation is changing from hour to hour. What is certain is that a difficult year awaits us, both this and the next. But, that “What I, as the Minister of Finance, can guarantee is that we will not transfer the burden of the crisis to the citizens and the economy, that the state will help as much as it can,” Mali told “Blic”.

He emphasized that we are witnessing tectonic changes that are happening.

“I think that the world will never be the same after all this. The situation on the global level is changing, not from day to day, but from hour to hour, and in such circumstances it is normal that there is a certain amount of anxiety in everyone,” said the Minister of Finance.

He stated that Serbia is not an isolated island and that everything that is happening in the world affects us as well, but that the Government is taking all necessary measures so that the citizens of Serbia feel the consequences of the new world crisis as little as possible.

“We have enough food, we have an excellent supply of the market, full commodity reserves, limited price of fuel and certain foodstuffs, electricity, which has not become more expensive. The budget of Serbia can bring that out, because we saved on time and did not waste money.

Also, exchange rate stability and business certainty have been ensured, despite the escalation of international risks in the previous two weeks. We have not allowed external shocks to lead to excessive exchange rate fluctuations. Also, the price of fuel at the gas stations is limited, and a decision was made to temporarily reduce excise taxes by 20 percent, “Mali said.

He adds that there is enough money in the state account and that the payment of salaries and pensions will not be delayed for a moment, but that the crisis will probably delay the planned completion of some capital infrastructure projects.

Mali says that a good indicator of the stability of our economy in this difficult time is that investors continue to come to Serbia, regardless of the current situation in the world. We are still an attractive investment destination and at the time of the biggest economic crisis in our country, new jobs are being created.

“The state will continue to fight for new investors, because that means a better quality of life for the citizens, but also more money in the budget than taxes and contributions,” Mali said.

He also says that the state will try to achieve the projected growth rate of 4.5 percent, but that it is now difficult to say whether this will be feasible, and adds that the European Central Bank has already lowered the eurozone’s growth projection for this year from 4.2 at 3.7 percent.

When asked how he would evaluate the work of the Government, Mali answered that he thinks that the Government of Serbia has done a very good job, in very difficult and extraordinary conditions of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think that we in the Ministry of Finance have done a really good job – the stability of public finances during the crisis has been preserved, three packages of economic support to the economy and citizens of Serbia have been implemented without delays in payments, numerous reform laws have been passed and important projects such as introduction of e-invoices and e-fiscalization, for which the deadline is May 1 this year “, stated Mali, Euronews reports.

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