Serbia’s budget for 2023 is insufficiently transparent in the part that relates to the costs incurred due to the poor performance of public companies, primarily Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), and citizens are still without the opportunity to influence priority investments, Transparency Serbia (TS) assessed.
In the statement, TS reminds that the Fiscal Council, in its assessment of the budget proposal, indicated that the Government did not clarify how the losses of EPS and Srbijagas occurred and how the approximately one billion euros intended for those companies will be spent.
The budgetary costs for EPS are the result of “primarily the disastrous management of this company in previous years, and not the world energy crisis”, emphasizes the analysis of the Fiscal Council.
Transparency Serbia states that for years it has been pointing to a problem with party appointments, mainly of acting officials to top positions in public companies, which has turned into open illegal management, with the assessment that the budget proposal for 2023 shows the price of such non-domestic business.
The Fiscal Council also indicated that the system of selection, implementation and monitoring of infrastructure projects in Serbia should be significantly improved and made more transparent.
In this regard, TS points out that citizens do not have the opportunity to express themselves about which projects are priority and whether they agree that the state should incur additional debt for their implementation, stating that prioritization is not regulated by law, and justification analyzes are often not publicly available.
“Serbia can look at what other countries are doing, but it can also look up to its own local governments, where in dozens of cities and municipalities there are excellent mechanisms for consulting citizens on what the priorities are, above all when it comes to capital projects.” indicates TS, Insider reports.