The Montenegrin Employers’ Federation (MEF) prepared the Innovated (fourth) Proposal of MEF measures for economic support, and submitted it to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Secretariat of the Competitiveness Council.
It was created on the basis of the expressed needs of employers – MEF members, as well as the outcomes of the MEF second survey on the effects of COVID-19 crisis on business operations of Montenegrin employers, conducted with technical support of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The new MEF position document was submitted for the needs of the meeting that the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Jakov Milatović, held on December 18, 2020 with business associations. The topic was the analysis and further elaboration of a package of support measures for the economy, with a focus on those that could be implemented in the short term. On behalf of the MEF, the meeting was attended by the Secretary General, Ms. Suzana Radulović.
In addition to the measures that need to be taken in the short term, the MEF document contains an overview of the following proposals for
1. Establish a Guarantee Fund in the amount of EUR 100 million, in order to provide state guarantees of at least 70% of the amount of loans to business entities that had a drop in income of more than 30% due to the epidemic and the introduction of temporary measures. This would create conditions for commercial banks to create more favorable credit lines, with easier access to credit and lower interest rates.
2. Entrepreneurs and companies that had a decline in income of 30% compared to 2019 due to epidemic and temporary measures, should be entitled to a wage subsidy in the amount of 100% of the minimum net wage until April 1, 2021, or longer – depending on the epidemiological situation and the improvement of business conditions.
3. Provide subsidies for the purchase of fiscal devices and equipment to economic entities that will have to replace the existing tax cash registers in accordance with the requirements of the new Law on Fiscalization in Trade in Products and Services (effective from January 1, 2021).
4. Ensure deferred payment of customs and VAT up to 90 days. This should be a continuous measure applied in cycles until business and cash flows are normalized.
5. Provide urgent amendments to the Law of the Value Added Tax.
6. Adopt a special law that would regulate labor-legal relations in times of extraordinary circumstances or make urgent adjustments of the Labor Law aligning its provisions to respond to (extraordinary) circumstances caused by the COVID-19 epidemic (e.g. upgrade the article on termination of work, simplify the procedures for introduction of work from home, shorter working hours etc.).
Note: The Renewed (fourth) Proposal of Measures by the MEF to support the business – version in Montenegrin language – can be downloaded at THIS link.