Agreement reached with taxi and private transport drivers

After eight hours of negotiations, Minister of Finance and Economy Bozidar Djelic reached an agreement with representatives of taxi drivers and private transport drivers on settling and reprogramming their debts and obligations. The state will work in cooperation with all those who regularly pay their taxes and obligatory contributions, Djelic said, adding that the Serbian government would launch an initiative at the Federal government for wiping out customs duties on import of vehicles
for taxi drivers.

At a press conference immediately following the conclusion of talks, Djelic said „For me as Minister of Finance and Economy, the most important thing is that I now have two more trades that have resolved to start paying their financial obligations. Believe me, the Serbian government will have understanding for those groups which decide to enter into legal business, with normal payment of their newly-resolved obligations, and will know how to work in cooperation with them, as we have done today with taxi drivers. All taxi drivers will have to pay E60 by July 15, and they will have this obligation until the end of this year. By July 22 will be able to see exactly who has paid, and who hasn’t. Those who don’t settle their obligations will have their licenses taken away for 2 months. Anyone who fails the test a second time will have their license to work revoked. What’s most important is
that 2/3 of taxi drivers who have to this day not paid a single dinar into the state coffers have now shown goodwill toward starting to pay their obligations.“

Djelic added that the payment of debts will begin on July 1 of next year, with a write-off of interest on outstanding debts, and that the period for payment of reprogrammed debts is 36 months with a very low interest rate. Along with regular repayment, the state will permit the import of a car without customs duties, and work is underway on changes to legislation that will allow taxi drivers to do business more profitably. For private transport drivers, taxes and contributions will be higher than in previous years. For both professions we have agreed that debts made by the Yugoslav army during the time of the 1999 NATO bombing will be written off, Djelic said.

Strike board representative and taxi driver Aleksandar Bjelic expressed satisfaction with the agreement, since the monthly obligations for taxi drivers have been reduced from 4,500 to 3,600 dinars, and more importantly because all taxi drivers and private drivers will now know what their financial obligations will be in advance.