Complicated Procedures Hamper Investments in Agriculture

Total Croatia News

Will the new Ministry leadership facilitate investment activities?

Farmers do not invest in development, manufacturers and sellers of the agricultural machinery fail to make sales, construction workers do not build, and the EU consultants have been reimbursed for less than a third of their work. More than one billion kuna allocated for the investments in agriculture is waiting and should have been used via two EU tenders last year launched by the former Agriculture Minister Tihomir Jakovina, reports on March 25, 2016.

Egon Mudrinić, director of CORE Consulting, an EU consulting firm that is engaged in the area of agriculture, says that slow procedures affect not only agriculture but other industries as well. “In order to accelerate these procedures and change the rulebook defined by the Ministry, a public debate is necessary. This means that in the next six months we cannot expect any changes or new tenders, but the announcement from the Assistant Minister of Agriculture Mario Njavro that the procedures will be reduced and will last 90-120 days sounds promising”, Mudrinić said. If decisions about competitions were made within 90 days from the application process conclusion, Croatia could then count on annual investments in agriculture of one billion kuna, every year until 2020.

Goran Zečić, CORE Consulting co-founder, said that their company employs four people. “It is not bad, but I believe that if the procedures for processing the applications were faster, the company would have had a higher income last year and two more employees”, he explained. Both Zečić and Mudrinić agree that the situation would have been different had the ministry collaborated with those in the economy while Jakovina was at its helm.

“Not only did they not adopt proposals from the industry, but they did not even want to hear the proposals”, Mudrinić said. On the other hand, they added that the Agency for Payments had established a good cooperation with entrepreneurs. “However, the Agency could not solve the problems caused by the badly defined tender rules”, Mudrinić noted.


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