Adina Vălean, European Commissioner For Transport

Working Together Can Yield Fantastic Results

The success of the Green Lanes initiative...

H.E. Kimmo Lähdevirta, Finnish Ambassador

Every Vaccine Counts

Some 75% of Finns have said that...

Irena Vujović, Serbian Minister Of Environmental Protection

Significant Investments In A Healthier Environment

We have at our disposal a budget...

Aleksandra Imširagić, Assistant Minister, Ministry Of Environmental Protection

Good Environmental Governance Requires Teamwork

Ensuring good governance in the domain of...


Government, Freelancers Associations Reach Agreement On Paying Taxes

Today, the government of the Republic of Serbia reached an agreement with the representatives of the Association of Freelancers...

EU Delegation and Council of Europe Office Welcome New Rules Aimed at Preventing Undue Influence on Judges and Prosecutors

The Serbian High Judicial Council (HJC) and the State Prosecutorial Council (SPC) have adopted on 15 and 19 April 2021...

The European Commission And Austria Secure COVID-19 Vaccines For The Western Balkans

The European Commission and Austria are announcing today the conclusion of agreements for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines for...

Greece Removes Quarantine For Travellers From EU And Other Countries

Greece has lifted its quarantine requirement for travellers from the European Union provided they have been vaccinated or tested...

WHO Describes Immunisation Process In Serbia As Impressive

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic talked with World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge about the epidemiological...

Goran Pitić, Chairman of the NALED Fair Competition Alliance

Extending Fiscalisation Would Have The Greatest Effect In Curbing The Grey Zone

“The issue of competitiveness has to be one of the priorities of any government agenda, especially this new one since it is crucial for the regional ‘game’…because there is no successful economy without it, here or anywhere else”, says our interviewee Goran Pitić, when we put it to him that he is “the staunchest advocate for higher compet¬itiveness of Serbian products and fair competition”.

For twenty-odd years, Goran Pitić has been focusing on raising competitiveness and fair competition. He was the first chairman of the government Competitiveness Pro­tection Council and today he is again on the front line of this fight in his capacity as chairman of the NALED Fair Com­petition Alliance.

When we asked him what his motives were for becoming chairman of this Alliance, which works with the government to combat the grey econ­omy, he said:

“This is an issue I have been dealing with for many years now, both academically and professionally. I have been fighting the grey economy and promoting competi­tiveness and fair competition. And I am doing so again.

The issue of competitiveness has to be one of the priorities of any government agenda, especially this new one because it is crucial for the regional ‘game’ and for Serbia to utilise its potential.

This triangle of competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship, along with good education, helps the social system and raises and creates new values. I am also personally motivated, and at NALED this is a segment that requires additional energy, knowhow and expertise.”

What are the greatest challenges in im­plementing the National Programme for Combatting the Grey Economy: political will, resistance from institutions, imple­mentation of regulations, lack of funding or something else?

The Ministry of Finance understands and is determined to set aside enough compe­tent resources to take part in the project. The second thing is participating in coordi­nating and consolidating certain activities. This requires changes in the way things are done and in the organisation itself. There will be resistance because this requires a serious improvement of work coordination; not only in the inspections but in other services too.

All services, but above all customs and inspection, must be able to conduct risk analysis based on the data stored in the online fiscal system

Regulations will have to change too, to motivate employers to transfer their business from the ‘grey’ to the ‘white’ economy. This will require a serious recalculation in the Ministry of Finance. Then there is the issue of income tax. How­ever, there have to be tough sanctions along with stimulating measures. It is of vital importance to have good coordination of all participants in this process, and that’s why NALED plays an important role.

Which National Programme measures are going to be the most effective? Which ones is it most important to implement?

There are several goals and measures that need to be attained and implemented. First and foremost, there is more efficient inspection supervision and improving the fiscal system. Activities have already been agreed upon and we expect fiscalisation, or rather its expansion, to have the biggest effect. This entails introducing online cash registers and having more cashless pay­ments. Crucial activities are being carried out – from changing the old and imple­menting new regulations to the govern­ment’s receipt lottery. Only 20 per cent of the entire economy has been fiscalised.

In terms of inspection supervision, certain regulations will be changed and harmonised and we shall have a consolidated inspection supervision web portal. Work is also being done on risk analysis. All services, but above all customs and inspection, must be able to conduct risk analysis based on the data stored in the online fiscal system.

It is similar to the workflow of the author­ised organisations (for countering illegal trade), which is already in place and is ap­plied to cigarettes and tobacco. The same will be done for coffee, alcohol, meat, baking products and possibly for oil too.

The system entails harmonising the work done by inspectors, the police, customs and all other authorities responsible for com­batting illegal trade. This is the activity plan that NALED devised in agreement with the Ministry of Finance.

The Alliance for Fair Competition brings together 20 of the biggest taxpayers in the country. Some say that, for this rea­son, the Alliance should not participate in devising the National Programme. Why is it important for businesses to be part of this process and how would you respond to the critics?

It is perfectly natural for lawmakers to cooperate with law abiders. It is in both of their best interests. The contribution provided by these and other companies is invaluable because the government and businesses have the same interest – to create the same conditions for everybody who stimulates the economy so that most of them can operate in regulated conditions and thus ascertain their level of competitiveness.

It is perfectly natural for lawmakers to cooperate with law abiders. The contribution provided by companies is invaluable, because the government and businesses have the same interest

NALED has an active role in implement­ing these measures. Does this mean that the state is willing to delegate some of the work to other associations and the civil sector, and why is this good news?

Generally speaking, it is important in the period ahead for the government to signal as clearly as possible that any organisation not directly involved in government affairs, like agencies or regulatory bodies, are wel­come to participate if they share a common interest. An isolated government cannot accomplish results if it doesn’t involve those entities that can contribute with their initiatives and ideas, and that have the capacity and willingness to get involved in implementing projects like this one.

What would signal to you that the Programme has been successful and that NALED’s effort has paid dividends?

There are several signs already. There is fear over whether the capacity of the state can follow the numerous measures in the Programme, both in terms of legislation and in an organisational sense. I already have a feeling that my decision to join this team makes sense because the willingness and readiness to face the problems and search for solutions have already been validated.

Related Articles

NALED Presented The Grey Book And 100 Recommendations For Better Business Conditions

Establishing an electronic health record, improving the water treatment system and abolishing the conversion fee – these are the new priority recommendations of NALED's...

Violeta Jovanović, NALED Executive Director And President Of The Ethno Network

Equal Opportunities For Women And Men

Although women are the more educated gender in the Serbian population, they face higher unemployment, lower wages and discrimination. In order for these statistics...

Vladimir Novaković, President Of The NALED Managing Board

Continuing Cooperation With The Government

The common denominator of the top three reforms that NALED will advocate for has crystallised more than ever during the Covid-19 crisis. Those are...

How We Explored Serbia

Against all odds, it turned out that the pandemic had one positive effect - we spent the summer getting to know Serbia, as the...

Canadian Ambassador And US Ambassador’s Wife Visit Weavers’ Colony In Stara Planina

The Ambassador of Canada H.E. Kati Csaba, and the US Ambassador’s wife, Anne Godfrey, were patrons and participants in the fifth Weavers’ Colony in...

Violeta Jovanović, NALED Executive Director

Pandemic Brings Digitalisation To The Fore

In the first wave of the crisis, it is certain that the measures of the Government of Serbia were crucial in preventing the collapse...

Norwegian Embassy, Ministry of Public Administration and NALED Provide Protective Equipment for 620 Inspectors

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, in cooperation with NALED and the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government, provided masks, gloves, visors...

NALED Launches Fundraising Platform To Help Local Governments And Institutions

With the aim to unite its members in the fight against #COVID19, NALED launched a unique donation platform, in order to connect local self-governments...