Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) – 25 November 2021

Published on: Nov 25, 2021 12:54 PM Author: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić took questions from the MPs within the Prime Minister's Questions.

Answering a question of Boris Bogdanović, the MP Group "Democrats - Demos - Peace is Our Nation", Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that the right to compensation based on the birth of three or more children was prescribed by the Law on Amendments to the Law on Social and Child Protection that came into force on 1 January 2016.

Prime Minister Krivokapić said that the Government supports every good initiative aimed at social justice.

However, it should be pointed out that the submitted draft law did not make a fiscal assessment of its impact on the state budget, which is necessary for the Government to submit its opinion, having in mind the importance of this law on the fiscal sustainability of the public finance system. Namely, only solutions that are fiscally sustainable in the long run, can and should be the subject of consideration in the Parliament. Fiscal neutrality of measures is a basic principle of sound public finances. If this principle were not respected, we would end up in a situation where we give mothers certain cash benefits, which we would have to abolish in a month or a year, because they are fiscally unsustainable, said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Krivokapić said that it is important to point out that the Law on Budget for 2021 adopted the amendment of the MPs which provides funds for this purpose, in the amount of 25 million euros. However, these funds could not be used in the absence of a legal solution that would be the basis for the payment. In this regard, the Draft Law on Budget for 2022 provides for the same amount of 25 million euros for this purpose.

Asked whether the Government of Montenegro will give a positive or negative opinion on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Social and Child Protection, which introduces child benefit for children under 18, PM Krivokapić that the Draft Law was submitted without an assessment of the financial impact on the budget of Montenegro. After providing the necessary data, the Government of Montenegro will submit its opinion.

Answering a question of Danijel Živković, the MP Group Democratic Party of Socialists and the Liberal Party, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that the DPS MP has one systemic error which is difficult to correct.

You see only the pharaoh who shines like the sun in Montenegro, and who has usurped the whole of Montenegro. He usurped it by introducing tycoons to Montenegro, selling off state property, destroying companies, the Prime Minister said and stressed numerous scandals in which both the ministers and the President of Montenegro participated.

Prime Minister Krivokapić also reminded of the period of DPS rule, their misdeeds and unsolved attacks on journalists.

Answering a question of Branko Radulović, the MP Group "Democratic Front – Movement for Changes", Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that the most important thing is to have a common position that Montenegro must proceed quickly with reforms, which will be clear, and that Montenegro has an exceptional potential and the time has come to use that potential.

The written answer of the Prime Minister states that the 42nd Government of Montenegro, at the beginning of its mandate, faced great challenges when it comes to the economy and public finances of Montenegro.

PM Krivokapić reminded that in 2020, Montenegro recorded the largest decline in economic activity in Europe of 15.3%, with a budget deficit of 10.2% and public debt of 105.3%. In such a situation, we made decisions that enabled us to achieve the following results in the first year of this Government's mandate:

  • tourism revenues of EUR 700 million compared to EUR 150 million achieved in 2020;
  • projected economic growth in 2021 of 13.4%;
  • budget surplus achieved in June, July, August and primary surplus in September;
  • no additional borrowing in 2021 and 2022.

All this enabled us to propose a Fiscal Strategy and Budget for 2022, which aim to:

  • achieve dynamic economic growth rates of over 5% on average per year;
  • improve living standards through the tax reform programme contained in the "Europe Now!" programme;
  • further salary increase for healthcare workers;
  • more generous social benefits;
  • reduction of the "grey economy";
  • significant increase in allocations for capital projects which will improve the infrastructure and give impetus to economic growth, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that the main goal of the Government is to create conditions for improving the standards of all our citizens. Therefore, we proposed an economic programme -" Europe now!" which will improve living standards, increase employment, reduce the "grey economy" in the labour market, improve the business and investment environment.

Answering a question of Damir Šehović, the MP Group "Social Democrats of Montenegro", Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that MP Šehović speaks as if everything before this Government's mandate had worked perfectly. Speaking about the health situation, the Prime Minister said that the previous Government didn’t procure COVID-19 vaccines.

There is no discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief. This Government has only one principle, that there is equal access to justice for all and that there is no revanchism.

Answering a question of Dragan Ivanović, the MP Group of the Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that the census is expected next year.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the most important thing at this moment is that the Draft Law on the population and housing census has been sent to the European Commission. You know that there is EU recommendation that says that in the year in which the elections are held, the census should not be organised. But I think that if there is a general will, there is no reason not to organise it, maybe in October next year, said PM Krivokapić.

Answering a question of Ervin Ibrahimović, MP Group of the Bosniak Party, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that the proposed Budget is a development budget for the north of Montenegro and that the facts speak for themselves.

This year's budget is higher by 44.24 million euros or 137.84 percent compared to the previous year. Also, it is important to point out that the allocation for the Northern region amounts to 475.42 euros per capita. The largest amount of funds allocated for the Northern region refers to the municipality of Pljevlja, namely the amount of 16.93 million euros, Kolašin 16.37 million euros, Bijelo Polje 10.92 million euros, Rožaje 10.36 million euros and Mojkovac 9.22 million. These are indisputable facts, PM Krivokapić pointed out.

Answering a question of Miloš Konatar, MP Group "In Black and White", Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said that his words encouraged him and that he hoped that the fight against organised crime and corruption would be even more visible.

You pointed out one of the most important facts, and that is the formation of the Prosecutorial Council. At one point in time, I thought that the man mentioned as a stumbling block was one of those limiting factors for the Prosecution Council to function normally. However, when I realised that this man was even unnecessary for the Prosecutorial Council to function, I realised that this was beyond my comprehension.

This Government has zero tolerance for corruption. The Cabinet's decision banned the storage of tobacco products in the Free Zone of the Port of Bar, and all international institutions praised it as a successful step forward. We seized 1,400 kilograms of cocaine worth over 100m euros and two criminal clans have reduced their activities to a minimum, the Prime Minister said and added that we will not close Chapters 23 and 24 if we are not more agile.

Answering a question of Draginja Vuksanović Stanković, the MP Group of the Social Democratic Party – Albanian coalition "Unanimously", Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić said the Government had not abolished the Faculty of Montenegrin Language and Literature, and that it had not denied it any right other than expenses that did not belong to the faculty.

The Prime Minister also said that he did not know why MP Stanković claims that the Government has a negative approach towards the diaspora.

At every meeting with them, I received only praise. If you have any information that I do not have, please let me know, the Prime Minister said.

Premijerski sat (25.11.2021.)
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