Toplica Spasojevic, president of the ITM System, points out that all the measures adopted by the Government are very important for businessmen, but as the epidemic of coronavirus is not decreasing, it cannot be claimed that it will not be necessary to take additional steps in that regard.
– Government measures such as delaying the repayment of loans for three months, assistance for salaries to employees, delaying the payment of certain obligations and guarantees for the repayment of bank loans are moves that have greatly facilitated and enabled the economy in this difficult period in which we face the coronavirus. There is no doubt that the guarantees that the state gave to the banks regarding the crediting of business are a great thing and a significant help, as well as all other adopted measures – our interlocutor states.
However, he adds that, given that the coronavirus epidemic is not decreasing, that will not be enough and that the state will have to work on finding additional ways to help the economy.
– We need to wait some more time in order to see whether the virus will continue to spread or whether the epidemic, ie its first wave, will end. In case the epidemic continues, it is quite certain that the current state aid will not be enough and that it will be necessary to find ways to provide additional funds. In the first place, I mean the tourism sector and others that are directly and strongly affected by the corona virus pandemic – explains Spasojevic.
According to him, it would be of great importance for the economy to establish regular contacts with representatives of the Government of Serbia and line ministers regarding the newly created economic situation due to the corona virus.
– This contact would be very important for businessmen in order to be informed in a timely manner about the measures that the Government plans to take in the future. Accurate and timely information would ensure that individual entrepreneurs, knowing what the Government will do in the future, can give up closing some of their businesses due to the impact of the crisis and thus save jobs. That is why regular and direct communication between the authorities and the economy is very important and necessary – Spasojevic emphasizes.
Honorary President of the Union of Employers of Serbia, Nebojsa Atanackovic, agrees with the opinion that the previous measures of the Government are aimed at helping entrepreneurs, but he believes that there is room for the situation to continue to be monitored and adequately reacted through additional moves to preserve economic activities.
– All measures adopted by the Government in its package to help the economy are efficient and useful. Such is the one related to the bank guarantees of the state that the loans that the economy receives will be repaid. The very fact that the Government guarantees such a thing is a relief to entrepreneurs when they ask for loans from banks. Also, thanks to the intervention of the state, the interest rates in this case are lower than they would otherwise be. On the other hand, the problem for the economy remains that it is still the banks that decide whether the loan will be granted or not. That is why I think that in that respect there was room to do something else for the benefit of the economy, but in general, the measures are good – our interlocutor states.
He points out that the Government has announced that it will additionally consider the possibilities of helping entrepreneurs in order to suppress the negative effects of the corona virus on the economy.
– One of such measures is support when it comes to employing young people who are applying for their first job. I believe that the Government is carefully monitoring the situation and considering the possibilities for additional measures that would make it even easier for the economy to work in conditions in which the coronavirus does not subside – Atanackovic emphasizes.
Goran Rodic, Vice President of the Serbian Chamber of Construction, told Danas that all measures adopted by the Government, including those related to bank guarantees, make sense in the case of the construction industry only if domestic operations begin to play a leading role in major infrastructure works in the country.
– If it were the holder of the business that takes place in the country, the domestic construction operative would earn significantly more money than it is now, when it mostly gets subcontracted tasks. The leading role in the realization of capital infrastructure works would provide the domestic operative with a livelihood, an increase in salaries for employees and the opportunity to hire new workers – states Rodic, Danas reports.