After various data on the number of employees appeared in the public, as well as a claim that this number is growing due to the departure of BiH citizens, federal prime minister Fadil Novalic clarified the situation in an interview for Fena that there are no different data, but two administrative sources of data – Tax Administration and Statistical Office.
“We monitor both sources, but we consider that the Tax Administration is a far better source for monitoring employment, as unlike the Office, it covers all employees and is only 8 days “late” after the moment of employment. The Statistical Office has a specific methodology and does not contain information on subjects that have less than five employees. According to the data from the Tax Administration on September 30th, 2017, the number of employees amounts to 512,336, which represents an increase of 35,960 or 7.5% compared to the beginning of the mandate of this Government. Some analysts, who are trying to defeat the accuracy of these data, I can only invite them to present their figures and sources. I do not know which data source could be considered more reliable than the data of the Tax Administration, so you can see the name, surname and registry number these new employees and where they work. Also, the interpretations that this number is influenced by the departure of BiH citizens is absolutely wrong. About the absolute numbers of persons registered in the Tax Administration as employees. Departure from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the withdrawal from the Employment Office, can only have an impact on reducing unemployment, not to increase the number of employees,” Novalic said.
Regarding the announced protests of pensioners and answering the question when can we expect for their status to improve, since there was no increase in pensions, Novalic stated that the primary goal of this Government was to stabilize the pension fund and regularly pay pensions.
“I remind you that pensions are paid regularly, that there is no delay, which was almost usual in previous mandates. As of September 30th, 2012, the total number of pensioners in FBiH is 410,900, ie in the mandate of this Government, it increased by 20,877. It is important to emphasize that the deficit of the Pension Fund is continuously decreasing and from 220 million BAM, it has been reduced to around 150 million BAM and by various measures the regularity of pension payments has been achieved. It is true that there was no increase in pensions, but we have to be realistic, without prior restoration of the deficit of the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, it would be extremely irresponsible What remains is the reform and the law that will regulate these rights.” The Prime Minister announced that the session of the Government of FBiH is scheduled for tomorrow.
Asked what the Government has done to improve the business environment, relieve the economy, reduce public spending, fight the shadow economy, increase wages, stimulate exports and increase foreign investment, Novalic points out that easing the economy is one of the Government’s basic tasks.
“You know that set of reform laws is in the process, which reduces the burden of work from 67.5% to 49.8%. The government has done its part of the job, I can only appeal to the legislative authority to speed up the processes. which illustrate improvements in all these areas: only in the last two years we recorded an increase in the average wage by 5%, which is not insignificant in given conditions, the coverage of imports by exports has increased from 55.8% to 58.3% in the last four years employees in the administration are less than 1%, a plan for the fight against gray economy has been drafted, and even harmonized at the entity level. I would also mention the debt of public companies, since this is a significant problem that has been accumulating over the last 20 years. We are developing strategies and methodologies for solving this issue, including legal solutions. It is important to note that for the first time public companies such as FBiH Railways and mines started paying their obligations, so growth was stopped. When it comes to investments, it is evident that most of the investments actually come from domestic investors, because generally foreign investments in BiH are falling. It does not go at the speed you want, but we have to be realistic. We are solving issues that have been accumulating over 20 years, there are no light and instant solutions,” Novalic says.
In the last couple of months, there has been a complete setback in reform processes and it can often be heard that the Reform Agenda is colloquially described as “dead”. Also, it is said that our credit rating, has worsened. However, Novalic points out that he would absolutely disagree with that.
“When it comes to the Government of FBiH, almost two thirds (64%) of all planned measures and activities have been implemented. We must be honest and say that nobody expected that everything will be easy and without any obstacles in this complex structure. The credit rating is stable, although we would like to improve it. In the ranking of the World Bank, the ranking depends on a number of factors, but what is most important is to monitor the distance from the border We are recording positive progresses every year, but there are countries that have a simpler environment and can implement reforms faster, so that our technical rank falls, although our distance from the best, so-called distance-to-frontier is constantly improving. Measures already passed by the government, and now by the parliament, will significantly improve BiH’s assessment. You need to know that the specific methodology of evaluation is that even in the implementation of ranks and the World Bank and the World Economic Forum are difficult to determine the ranking, because it is ranked at the state level, and the reforms are carried out on entity, and often at cantonal and municipal levels,” concludes prime minister Fadil Novalic.