We are ready for MORE CONCESSIONS to farmers, but also for a meeting again

Brnabić: We are ready for MORE CONCESSIONS to farmers, but also for another meeting

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said that Ministry of Agriculture ready to present a few more concessions to farmers, as well as for the state to do everything it can, “and more than that”. Brnabić said today that a meeting of protesting farmers with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture is underway and said that she is ready to meet again in Novi Sad with farmers who blocked traffic in that city.

She said that the Government of Serbia already fulfilled what it promised yesterday, which is the lifting of the oil export ban, but “they are ready to negotiate together with the oil producers to ensure that the purchase price is 535 dinars plus VAT”.

“We cannot guarantee any price, not 700 or whatever they ask for, but we cannot guarantee any price to anyone. We could not promise a price to the raspberry growers or anyone else. We cannot influence that price in that way. But if we were to guarantee the price for the purchase of sunflowers, then we would have to guarantee everyone else in the Serbian economy the price for the purchase of anything else. This is something that the government cannot do. And to be clear, I also told the farmers’ representatives that they will not work,” said Brnabić.

What can be negotiated?

He says that he can talk to the buyers to increase the price a little.

“We can talk about it and we are thinking now to possibly regulate the trade margin and set the maximum trade margin to be 10 percent and that’s about it. We can help a little more by subsidizing the price of fuel. Yesterday we offered 22 dinars for 60 liters per hectare. We could possibly see that for the fourth quarter we go to 30 dinars also for 60 liters. This would give me approximately a little more than 51 billion dinars for agricultural incentives this year,” she stated.

Belgrade, 11.08.2022. Ana Brnabić (BETAPHOTO/AMIR HAMZAGIC)

Brnabić compared the budget for farmers in 2010 and now

She said that the budget for incentives for farmers and for agriculture in the Republic of Serbia in 2010 was 14 billion dinars, and that this year it will probably exceed 50 billion dinars.

“So much for how much the support for farmers used to be, and how much it is today. And already during this year, we intervened by raising subsidies from four thousand dinars per hectare to eight thousand dinars and by going to subsidized fuel, and by allowing filling both in canisters and pumps, and special benefits. By raising the milk premium from eight dinars to ten dinars. Now we are ready to raise, and we said that yesterday, an additional 15 dinars in order to alleviate the consequences of the drought”, said the Prime Minister of Serbia in Novi Sad.

Farmers, blockade

Novi Sad, 10 August 2022. – Farmers, blockade (BETAPHOTO/DRAGAN GOJIC)

She noted that “it is difficult for everyone”

“And the state is fighting well. But the state and the state budget is not a bottomless pit. We have to be and remain fiscally responsible and provide the same money for next year and have room for additional support. Because no one knows at this moment what the year 2023 will be like. And because it would be completely irresponsible to spend everything we have now, to go into a deeper deficit and not have any room for 2023. So, we have offered, we have already done some things. We lifted the ban on exports yesterday at the session, as we agreed. We offered to increase the milk premium to 15 dinars. We offered to raise fuel subsidies to 22 dinars for 60 liters per hectare. Today we say that we can go to 30 dinars, but that it should be in the fourth quarter. We are here to negotiate, but some things we cannot guarantee as a purchase price, we cannot. We raised it from about 500 to 535 donar plus VAT. Guys, that’s really the best we can do. Here we can still talk about limiting the trade margin”, concluded Brnabić.

Farmers’ main demands were NOT met: “The state is not a bottomless jar”

Source: 021.rs/Beta

Photo: Beta/AP

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