Government to launch national investment plan by end-June

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic said the government adopted today the Information on the need for a national investment plan for the 2006-2011 period and a proposal on forming a coordinating body which will be in charge of drafting and implementing this plan.

In a press conference held after the government session, Dinkic said he was proposed for coordinating the body, while body members should include ministers’ of economy, science and environmental protection, capital investment, and trade, tourism and services.

This body will monitor the implementation of the national investment plan, he said and announced that the government should adopt the plan by the end of June.

All line ministries are expected to come up with concrete investment programmes for their sectors in coordination with professional organisations and through a public debate, Dinkic said.

Serbia is for the first time after many years in a situation with a surplus of privatisation revenues that can be used for public investment, Dinkic said and explained that privatisation revenues in recent years were used to cover the budget deficit.

Apart from 40 million dinars of budget surplus, Serbia is expected to generate at least €1.3 billion in privatisation revenues, and added €1 billion for public investment, Minister said.

Projects from seven sectors will be prioritised, Dinkic added. These are
education sector projects, projects to modernise the health system and environmental protection, projects on building traffic infrastructure, projects that directly or indirectly encourage economic development (incentives for employment and entrepreneurship, investments in energy, agriculture, water management, science and tourism), house construction projects, projects to improve the overall standard of citizens (sport, culture, social care) and projects related to improving the work of public administration (judiciary, police, the army and state administration).

He explained that the coordinating body will be tasked with composing the selection criteria, in which it will receive assistance from the World Bank. It will also draft suitable tender procedures to be carried out within these investments, with the aim of hiring as many people as possible.

The regional component will not be overlooked and proportionately more investments per capita will go to underdeveloped regions, said Dinkic adding that one of the aims is to prioritise those investments that can attract further private investments. In other words, the aim is to attract more private investments per every invested dinar, he said.