Cost of building licenses in Serbia the highest in the region    

Objavljeno : 29.10.2013. Štampa El. pošta bookmark

The cost of obtaining a building license in Serbia is the highest in the region of Europe and Central Asia, an analyst of the World Bank’s division for the development of the private and financial sectors, Irina Bilotserkivska, told the portal EurActiv Serbia. Commenting on the Doing Business report about business conditions for 2014, Bilotserkivska said that the “bottleneck” in Serbia is the time needed for the obtaining of building licenses and the costs of these activities.


“The time entrepreneurs have to reserve for a building license is longer than the European average. An entrepreneur in Serbia needs 269 days to obtain a building license, and 73 days in Georgia and Ukraine,” she said.


Judging by how easy it is to obtain a building license, Serbia is ranked 182nd, which means that it is among the ten worst countries in the world. In order to obtain a building license, an entrepreneur in Serbia must perform the average of 18 procedures, for which he needs 269 days and 1,433.4% of the income per capita, the report reads.


In her words, in this year’s report Macedonia is cited as a good example in the field of building licenses, after it had shortened the time needed for registering a new building, and authorized the local authorities to register buildings on behalf of owners.


Serbia has dropped seven places on the list of countries according to conditions for doing business, to the 93rd place among 189 countries, it was said in the Doing Business report for 2014, which was published on Oct. 29.


What also contributed to the worsening of Serbia’s position are the “negative trends in the payment of taxes,” such as the increase of corporate taxes, said Bilotserkivska.


Serbia is in 161st place according to the simplicity of paying taxes, with 66 payments per year which require 279 hours, it was said in the report of the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation (IFC).


Bilotserkivska also pointed out that “the position is relative; other countries in the world have progressed more and have carried out important reforms.”


“Some countries have carried out up to eight reforms. Considering that other countries are progressing fast and that reforms in Serbia are being delayed, this had a negative effect on Serbia’s ranking,” said the analyst of the World Bank.


She told the EurActiv Serbia that, this year, Kosovo is among the economies which have progressed the most in 2012/2013, after having simplified the procedures for starting up a business, obtaining a building license and registering property.


The reforms have enabled Kosovo to move up by 12 places, to the 86th place, the report reads.


In her words, the report also stressed the positive influence of European integration on the carrying out of reforms.


“We have observed great progress in countries which have joined the EU. Last year, Poland was the biggest reformer, and it also carried out reforms this year. Croatia implemented five reforms this year,” she said.


Asked about whether regulatory agencies are a luxury of wealthier economies, Bilotserkivska replied that many countries which pass through financial difficulties carry out regulatory reforms in order to enable the opening of new jobs.


In her words, 90 countries in the region of Europe and Central Asia carried out 65 reforms in the past year, while the most reforms in 2009 were in connection with business start-ups.


“Because of these efforts, a business is started up the easiest in this region, easier even than in the wealthiest members of the Organization for European Cooperation and Development (OECD),” said the analyst of the World Bank, Irina Bilotserkivska.


Of countries of the Western Balkans, the best ranked is Macedonia, which registered a mild drop this year, from the 23rd to the 25th place, while Bosnia-Herzegovina fell five places, to position 131.


Montenegro progressed by seven places, to the 44th place, Croatia is in the 89th place, while Albania is right behind it.


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