Annual Top Reformer Award Goes to Finance Minister Dušan Vujović

National Alliance for Local Economic Development awarded Finance Minister Dušan Vujović as the Top Reformer 2017. NALED’s Managing Board gave the award for the results achieved in 2017 in the area of countering shadow economy, the reform of non-tax charges and the introudction of incentives for the development of entrepreneurship.

Through activities in the implementation of the National Program for Combating Grey Economy and fiscal consolidation, the Minister contributed to the fact that tax collection plans were exceeded for two years in a row, with the achievement of a budget surplus that left space for financing measures for economic development.

As one of the important measures of the National Program, Minister Vujović supported the introduction of tax incentives for beginners in business that provides a chance to anyone who graduates from college or high school, or does not have a job for more than six months, to start their own business, exempting them from paying taxes and salary contributions for up to nine employees during the first year of work.

After five years, the Ministry of Finance has revived the reform of the system of non-tax and parafiscal charges, to which businesses point as the second biggest burden after taxes and contributions, with revisions of the Law on State Administrative Taxes and the drafting of the Law on Fees.

"The aim of the reform of non-tax charges is to record all taxes and fees and ensure business predictability. We are intensively working on the adoption of the Law on Fees during this year and on being ready for implementation from January 1, 2019. After that, we will prepare a registry of all charges, which will be publicly available and each investor will be able to get a list of fees that he is obliged to pay" - said Minister Vujovic at the annual NALED conference ‘The Course of Reforms 2018‘.

At the formal gathering in the Belgrade City Hall, NALED also presented special acknowledgments for contribution to reforms to Assistant Minister of Finance Nataša Kovačević, Director of the IT and e-Government Office Mihailo Jovanović, Head of the Digital Agenda Group at the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Milan Dobrijević, and the mayor of Loznica Vidoje Petrovic. The awards for contributing to quality reporting on economic reforms were given to the journalists of Blic and Radio Belgrade, Danijela Nišavić and Zorka Đukanović.

At the annual conference, NALED presented the tenth jubilee edition of the Grey Book with 100 recommendations to the Government of Serbia for the simplification of administrative procedures. The Grey Book has seen 210 recommendations to date, of which the relevant institutions have implemented 89.

"Ten years ago, we recognized the need for a guide to improving the business environment and published the first Grey Book eight months before the government's Comprehensive Reform of Regulations. In the meantime, the Grey Book contributed to the elimination of some of the most famous red tape obstacles to business through the reform of construction permits, the abolition of the daily payment of cash turnover and the signage fee for entrepreneurs, the introduction of automatic verification of health booklets, the elimination of workbooks, electronic registration of workers, payment of taxes and contributions to a single account and numerous other initiatives" - said the President of NALED’s Managing Board Aleksandar Ružević.

During 2017, nine of the 100 Grey Book recommendations were resolved, which is near the annual average level, but this cannot be considered satisfactory. These include the abolition of verification of booklets and seals in payment services, the automation of the procedure for maternity allowance, the abolition of double fees in the cadaster and the adoption of the Law on Electronic Commerce.

"In the past year, our members have pointed to the reduction of taxes and contributions for salaries, the establishment of a public registry of non-tax charges, the introduction of electronic registration of seasonal workers, the improvement of property registration in the cadaster, the introduction of electronic archiving of business documentation and the equalization of utility services for citizens and businesses, as the key priorities of the Grey Book"- said Dejan Đokić, President of NALED Executive Board, who supported the development of this edition.

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