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PMQs - Duško Marković: Third package of support measures includes EUR 67.85 million in short term and EUR 131.7 million in long term for tourism

PMQs - Duško Marković: Third package of support measures includes EUR 67.85 million in short term and EUR 131.7 million in long term for tourism
Published date: 22.07.2020 14:00 | Author: PR Service

Ispis Print

The third set of Government economic measures to address the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is worth EUR 67.85 million in the field of tourism solely and it is only a short-term set of measures by 2022 - said Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković today at the Prime Minister's Questions.

"It includes subsidising the interest rate for loan rescheduling with Investment and Development Fund and commercial banks worth EUR 12 million, applying a reduced VAT rate of 7% for a period of one year (i.e. until the middle of next year), totaling EUR 16 million, a credit line with Investment and Development Fund for liquidity and working capital with a subsidised interest rate, subsidies for private accommodation rentals worth EUR 3 million, and subsidies for tour operators and funds for promotion," said PM Duško Marković, answering a question from the MP Group of the Democratic Party of Socialists.

The Prime Minister said that the long-term set of proposed measures that will be applied until 2024, and which the Government will present tomorrow, will amount to a total of EUR 131.7 million.

The Prime Minister said that the support of the Government has been strongly present from the beginning, so we should not speak in terms of expectations or assumptions, because the institutions have been doing their job for months.

"The process of adopting the third set of measures was somewhat longer than we planned, but I believe that it is clear to everyone in Montenegro that we had to analyze the whole situation in order for the measures to be adequate. When we entered that process, right after the second set of measures, the situation was different. We did not have active cases of infection, and the situation in the region and in other outbound markets calmed down. We are witnessing that this situation unfortunately changed during June. Therefore, as I said, the Government will, through the third set of measures, allocate almost EUR 200 million for tourism through short-term and long-term measures and thus once again demonstrate the will to fully manage the challenges in tourism, but also in all other sectors in order to return the Montenegrin economy to the path of development, which was paved before this crisis," said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister reminded of the previous two sets of Government measures to support the economy and citizens, saying that since April, in order to support the payment of salaries to employees in the tourism and catering sector, about EUR 12.14 million have been paid for a total of 40,422 salaries and that the Government will support the payment for June as well.

Speaking about the economy at the time of the pandemic, the Prime Minister said that at the time of the pandemic, the digital economy had shown the greatest resilience to the crisis everywhere in the world and that information technology companies were now growing, precisely because global demand was growing rapidly.

"At the moment, we have about 70 companies registered in the field of innovation in the Ministry of Science, of which over 30 are export-oriented, of course there are many more on our market. I had the opportunity to meet these people individually and together, and we really have great potential, exceptional potential when it comes to the IT sector, i.e. the IT industry in the coming period.

We have monitored, approximately, about six companies in this area in this previous time when it comes to their export orientation and believe me that only these six companies participate with 2.5 percent in exports in Montenegro, only six companies, and the average salary is EUR 1,000."

The Prime Minister stated what has been done so far in this area and presented the planned measures:

- Facilitated startup - startups are exempt from taxes for up to 5 years
- Facilitated employment in innovation activity - significant reduction of taxes and contributions paid by employer, up to 50%
- Exemption from taxes and contributions paid by employer on innovative projects
- 100% income tax exemption for reinvestment in innovative projects
- 100% income tax exemption for investment in startups and funds to finance innovative projects
- Exemption from income tax for donations to scientific and research institutions
- Reduction of property taxes and construction of infrastructure for innovation
- and of course, the establishment of the Innovation Fund.

"This difficult time has shown us that this sector, as I said at the beginning, can find the best answers or most of the answers on how to maintain the economic substance and create preconditions when the health crisis passes for accelerated economic development. In the end, I will just say that together with the University we have launched the construction of a technology park in Podgorica worth over EUR 8 million, which will be a central space that will bring together young researchers, innovators, their connectivity, development of various projects and of course create or expand export orientation. We expect results in this sector in the short term"- concluded Prime Minister Duško Marković.