THIRD ROUND TABLE OF THE SERBIAN ASSOCIATION OF MANAGERS:
„INSOLVENCY: A REAL PROBLEM OR CONVENIENT EXCUSE“

"Business community expects from the Government to pay its liabilities regularly, carry out the reform of public companies, suppress grey market, cut down the payment deadlines, and prevent debtors from registering new companies", it was said today at the round table of the Serbian Association of Managers (SAM) attended by  M.Sc. Milan Janković, President of the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce.

Premier of Serbia, Mirko Cvetković, opposed the opinion that Government generates the insolvency of economy through its public companies, since the claims of Elektroprivreda Srbije (largest energy company in Serbia) and Srbijagas (oil industry of Serbia) since mid-2008 exceed by far their liabilities to suppliers. Cvetković also remarked that Government contributed significantly to solvency of economic operators during economic crisis and would continue to do so. He added that insolvent companies could not affect the overall solvency since over 90% of them will never be solvent. The budget deficit shows that Government has been paying its liabilities in amount exceeding its receivables, in an effort to increase the solvency of Serbian economy, added the Premier. By selling the state securities, Government also increases the solvency as the withdrawal of money from the market keeps the exchange rate stable and prevents the increase of prices.

The effect of banks' liquidity on companies has been assured by allocating the budget funds for subsidizing the bank loan interests for companies and purchase of domestic products, said Cvetković. Monetary politics in the past period could significantly affect the solvency of companies because inflation was rather low and the foreign currency exchange rate was stable. Premier Mirko Cvetković said that Government was taking foreign loans to make investments in infrastructure and he also announced that the tender for additional fixed telephony operator would be launched soon.

Slobodan Vučićević, President of the SAM and company Droga Kolinska pointed out to the practice of certain businessmen who file for bankruptcy while at the same time open new companies, drive expensive cars, and build luxurious buildings. His opinion is that the Government should find the way to monitor and control money flows.

President of the company Metalac from Gornji Milanovac, Dragoljub Vukadinović, objected Government's practice of focusing attention on companies that do not operate successfully because they lack market, adequate technology, skillful management, and whose liabilities exceed their assets. "Government could help economy by investing in profitable sectors, such as road infrastructure, electricity generation and supply, telecommunications, and agriculture," said Vukadinović.

President of Executive Board of Banka Intesa, Draginja Đurić, concluded that investments by companies had ceased and that they take loans mainly for solvency purposes. Her suggestion is that a deadline should be established for payment of liabilities by all debtors since it would improve the solvency of companies, as well as the amendments to the Law on Payment Operations.