Public Transport in Sarajevo could stop, GRAS Accounts blocked

September 18, 2020 2:15 PM

The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina has blocked all accounts of the Sarajevo public company GRAS, “Dnevni Avaz” has learned. Due to that, this company can no longer pay debts and all the money that will be paid into the GRAS account, the bank will redirect to the account of the Federal Tax Administration.

This means that GRAS can no longer pay salaries, buy fuel, vehicle parts … That is, public city traffic in Sarajevo could stop!, Avaz reports.

As the director of this company, Almir Ahmetspahic, explained, the accounts are currently blocked due to workers’ claims according to court rulings.

“The Law on Payment Operations must be respected. First, indirect taxes are collected, and then the Federal Tax Administration. We are currently in negotiations to overcome this crisis. There were meetings with the Canton Sarajevo Government, but it was not finalized. Now we are not blocked by the tax administration but by the workers. The bank has made a decision to respect payment operations in the Federation of BiH, which is placed in the collection priorities,” said Ahmetspahic.

The president of the GRAS trade union, Amir Muminovic, said that the accounts had been blocked for 20 days and that they were actively working on solving the problem.

”We’re on the right track. The Management of the company, the Supervisory Board, the Trade Union, the Government of CS are included. It doesn’t matter how many workers sue the firm. They are not just a problem of lawsuits. GRAS owes 130 million BAM to the state. GRAS did not become indebted overnight, obligations have not been paid for 15 years. We have been on strike several times before and warned about what happened today,” said Muminovic, adding the company has enough oil until Wednesday.

Account blocking in GRAS is nothing new. In previous years, the Federal Tax Administration and the Indirect Tax Administration blocked the accounts, but a compromise was always found. However, now, as Muminovic explained, the Supreme Court of Federation of BiH has ordered that there be no delay in the collection of workers’ claims on the basis of a collective agreement.

”More problems are being solved now. GRAS has nowhere else to go, or the problem will be solved or it will stop – Muminović pointed out.

The debt of GRAS to Federal Tax Administration amounts to 131.7 million BAM.

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