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Press release from 20th Cabinet session: Loan arrangements, austerity measures, eGovernment, combating gray economy

Press release from 20th Cabinet session: Loan arrangements, austerity measures, eGovernment, combating gray economy
Published date 06.04.2017 21:50 | Author PR Service

Ispis Print

Podgorica, Montenegro (6 April 2017) – At the session held earlier today, the Montenegrin Cabinet passed the Draft Law on fees on use of tobacco products and electro-acoustic and acoustic devices in restaurants and cafés, which allows owners or users to use tobacco products in one part of the facility, and the use of electro-acoustic and acoustic devices after midnight when organising outdoors and indoors cultural and entertainment programmes. The owners are obliged to pay the prescribed fee. The proposed provisions create conditions for the support and development of businesses, particularly bearing in mind that restaurants and cafés owners have pointed to the fact that the prohibition of use of tobacco products significantly reduces traffic. It has been also indicated by an association of employers that it would not be purposeful to introduce such a ban ahead of the tourist season, because tourists recognise this possibility as a boon.

Cabinet also approved the information on the results of negotiations with the Credit Suisse AG, London Branch, in connection with providing Montenegro with a loan arrangement in the amount of EUR 30 million, and a loan arrangement totalling EUR 50 million, by the same bank, which has significantly reduced debt with that bank. The debt has decreased from EUR 150 million to EUR 80 million, with agreed favourable conditions in terms of interest rate, because instead of the current twelve-month EURIBOR increased by 6.5%, the new loan agreed three-month EURIBOR plus 3.9%. It also reduced the amount of loan processing, as it was agreed 0.75% of the approved loan, instead of the previous 1.95%.

In order to cut spending and implement austerity measures, the Government passed the Decision amending the Decision on the variable part of the income. The decision decreases variable part of the income from 80% to 50% of the average income.

Today's session passed the Draft Strategy for the prevention and protection of children from domestic violence, which includes the majority population, ethnic minorities and immigrants, up to 18 years of age.

Cabinet approved the Information on the eGovernment portal for 2016. In order to create a modern and efficient state administration, the importance of eGovernment has been recognised, primarily through implementation of eGovernment web portal, which is one of the basic links in its development. It was developed as a sort of electronic counter of public administration towards individuals and legal entities, as well as between the bodies of administration. Over the reporting period, the portal traffic was increased by 43% than in the period from the beginning of 2011 until the end of 2015. Furthermore, the number of e-services on the portal increased by 48% last year, compared to the same period.

Government adopted the information on the "Management of industrial waste" project, which contains preparatory work on the remediation of four sites covered by the project, namely: Aluminium Plant Podgorica (2 red sludge and solid waste dumps), Adriatic Shipyard Bijela (grit and contaminated land), Thermal Power Plant Pljevlja (Maljevac ash and slag landfill) and "Šuplja stijena" mine (Gradac tailing).

Cabinet also approved the Information on review and creation of conditions for the Verige bridge construction on the Bay of Kotor.

Information on the implementation and effects of policies in the field of entrepreneurship and business, with recommendations for intensifying activities undertaken within programmes and projects, which was passed by the Government, presents an overview of measures, activities and effects in terms of sectors aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and business, with particular emphasis on financial support ( direct and indirect) for the development of entrepreneurship and business, and regulatory reform.

Government approved the Operational Plan to improve energy efficiency by 2017. The operational plan contains an overview of energy efficiency measures, whose implementation is planned to take place at 56 facilities under the jurisdiction of the public administration, with a total estimated budget of 8,218,587 euros. The total budget for last year was 10,837,114. euros, of which EUR 8,751,456 were spent.

At today's meeting, the Government adopted the report on the implementation of the project "Involving Citizens in Combating Gray Economy". Since the beginning of the project, the Inspection Directorate and Tax Administration have submitted over 11,000 applications of citizens in the informal economy area, which has resulted in fines totalling over EUR 2.2 million, thus having collected EUR 833.548 for projects of general public importance.

Public Relations Service of the Government of Montenegro