Chairwoman of the Coordination Committee Stabilization of the Economy and Mitigating the Consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic and Federal Minister of Environment and Tourism, Edita Dapo announced on Tuesday that the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will work on a budget revision in order to secure about 250 million BAM to help mitigate the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fena news agency reported.
Dapo said that the Government is aware that a pandemic that has engulfed the entire world will have an impact on the global economy and therefore on BiH economy as well, which is why a number of remedy activities have already been initiated.
“We are a small economy and we are left to ourselves, and since the Central Bank of BiH does not have an option to intervene by injecting money, we also need the support of international institutions, and by “tightening the belt” in terms of revisioning the budget, we will cut all costs that are not necessary for this year,” explained Dapo.
She stressed the need for swift, responsible and transparent action and the adoption of measures to safeguard economic liquidity and jobs.
Among the measures already taken are the stopping of the rise in the prices of basic food items, the Banking Agency was asked for a moratorium on loans, and the Council of Ministers was sent an initiative to amend the law and allow to move towards the end of the month the payment of contributions.
“We are aware that we have to find a decisive way to help the economy and preserve jobs, create a modality to help every individual, worker and business entities, and some of the measures will be possible only through changes in legislation,” she added.
Also, we are considering adopting a ‘lex specialis’ related to coronavirus, and activities are underway to set up a Guarantee Fund to issue guarantees to commercial banks.
A Stabilization Fund will be set up, for which the funds would be secured through a budget rebalance since the intention is to reduce all costs wherever possible, and the budget revision should, according to Đapo, be considered in mid-April.
The other part of the funds should be secured through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), she said, and negotiations in this regard have already started and it is expected that the funds from the European Commission could be operational in May.
She urged the employers not to lay off workers, announcing that modalities would be found to preserve liquidity and that everything would be done to ensure the regular payment of pensions and veterans’ benefits.