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    IMF: Energy products in Serbia will have to rise in price

    Low prices of energy products in Serbia will have to increase and the energy sector will have to be transformed, said Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission to Serbia, Donal McGettigan.

    As he pointed out at the Kopaonik Business Forum, the focus of Serbia’s two-year arrangement with the IMF is energy, budget needs and fiscal policy, which implies that low energy product prices must continue to increase.

    He recalled that Serbia was one of the first countries that helped vulnerable categories of the population through low energy prices, but that this was the time for changes in energy.

    „These changes, in addition to the increase in energy product prices, also mean changes in state-owned energy companies, primarily Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), which should be transformed into a joint stock company and get a new management,“ McGettigan said, adding that EPS was in a bad position due to poor management.

    He believes that Serbia needs an increase in the independence of state-owned companies, stricter monetary policy measures, further work on lowering inflation, i.e. further raising of interest rates.

    Impressive financial consolidation

    He also added that theprogram of Serbia and the IMF included fiscal deficit limits, but also restrictions on public sector salary and pension growth.

    McGettigan believes that Serbia has achieved excellent results in recent years in raising gross products per capita, inflow of foreign direct investments, increasing the employment rate and reducing the unemployment rate.

    He also stressed that „the financial consolidation was impressive“, because surplus was reached from the large deficit. According to him, even though domestic investments have increased significantly, they should still be higher.

    McGettigan said that the reduction of public debt in the previous six years, the improvement of the debt structure and the increase in foreign exchange reserves were also Serbia’s positive steps.

    Izvor: Beta

    Foto: Pixabay

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