SARAJEVO, March 20 (FENA) – While it is evident that the spread of coronavirus in BiH, the region, the EU and around the world has led to worrying slowdowns and setbacks to economic activity and clearly detectable and measurable consequences for many sectors of the BiH economy, it is difficult to see why the BiH Council of Ministers has not yet taken any concrete measure to mitigate the economic consequences caused by the coronavirus, warned the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, Denis Zvizdić on Friday.
“It was precisely in this epidemiological, health and economic crisis, which did not affect the BiH entities individually, but BiH as a whole, that we expected to see the leading role of the Council of Ministers, which had to act as the key coordinator of preventive, health and economic measures viewing Bosnia and Herzegovina as a unique space where we need to protect the public health of all citizens and the overall BiH economy,” Zvizdić told FENA.
According to him, that, unfortunately, has not happened. Although the Council of Ministers of BiH had a good example in the work of the Coordination body of BiH for protection and rescue of people and material goods from natural and other disasters, which, with the Minister of Security Fahrudin Radončić, has been doing quality and responsible work.
“Therefore, it is unclear why there is no Coordination Body for coronavirus response at the Council of Ministers level, why the set of economic measures under the jurisdiction of the BiH institutions has not yet been adopted and why the measures adopted by lower levels of government are not harmonized?” asked Zvizdić.
“There number of questions to which we do not yet have reasonable answers translated into concrete measures: Why the CoM of BiH, that is, the Presidency of BiH, have not yet adopted and submitted to the Parliamentary procedure the Budget of the BiH Institutions and International Obligations for 2020?
Why has VAT payment has not been postponed for three months or at least postponed for the end of the month? Why, in coordination with the CBBH and the entity banking agencies, did the reserve requirements for banks not go down and thus increase the banks’ liquidity and increase the possibility of urgent placement of the necessary financial resources under the most favorable conditions? Why have not urgent customs policy measures been adopted to facilitate the importation of essential medical, pharmaceutical and food products?” he asked.
Zvizdić also asked whether the smooth flow of goods and raw materials necessary for the functioning of key industries in BiH has been established, why instead of the so-called, entity procurement, the CoM has not established a national model for efficient takeover and distribution of financial resources and necessary equipment that we will receive from international financial institutions or European funds.
“Therefore, I again urge the Council of Ministers of BiH, in accordance with its constitutional competencies, to act responsibly and immediately form a Coordination Body for eliminating the economic consequences caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and to urgently adopt and implement a set of economic measures and activities that would primarily enable the implementation of the adopted measures in order to protect the citizens’ health, as well as the necessary preservation and gradual normalization of economic activities in order to protect the BiH economy and preserve jobs,” Zvizdić concluded.