Economy Minister Damir Habijan Announces Relief Measures

Lauren Simmonds

economy minister damir habijan
Luka Stanzl/PIXSELL

January the 4th, 2024 – Economy Minister Damir Habijan has announced a package of 73 relief measures spanning the entire domestic economy.

As Jadranka Dozan/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at the last session of 2023, the government adopted, among other things, the Action Plan for the reduction of non-tax and parafiscal benefits for 2024.

The new package envisages a total of 73 relief measures, the implementation of which is planned to provide direct cost relief in the amount of 132.8 million euros, at least according to Economy Minister Damir Habijan, who presented the plan.

Agriculture and healthcare

This package provides further relief to the economy, he revealed, and it is also one of the reform measures related to the business environment in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, making it one of the prerequisites for the next tranche of funds from the European Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience.

Economy Minister Damir Habijan emphasised that the previous Action Plan, adopted back in 2020, was fully implemented with the first quarter of 2022. It included 50 measures whose total effects of burden relief exceeded a massive 70 million euros.

In preparation for the new round of reduction of non-tax and parafiscal levies, the Economy Ministry coordinated the activities of shaping measures with a number of other state administration bodies. This included seven ministries, the State Geodetic Administration, the State Inspectorate, the State Bureau of Statistics and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

Almost 20 percent of the planned measures have already been implemented during the preparation of the Action Plan. More specifically speaking, the ministry has stated that out of the total planned 132.8 million euros, the economy has already been relieved in the amount of 25.7 million, while the remaining measures will be implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2024 at the latest.

According to the Action Plan, the largest part of the relief – more than 60 million or 45 percent – refers to measures within the competence of the Ministry of Economy. More than 25 million euros refers to relief under the auspices of the Labour Ministry, mainly due to the reduction of management fees and the abolition of the entry fee for mandatory pension funds. 10-11 million euros each will provide relief in both the agriculture and healthcare sectors.

Water use

Observed by measures alone, the largest reductions relate to fees for water use, water contributions and fees for water protection. The plan envisages that fees for the use of water, which currently collect around 96 million euros per year, will be reduced by slightly less than 20 percent, which will result in a relief of almost 19 million euros.

Water protection fees, which today cost the economy about 36.5 million euros, are expected to decrease by 22 percent, which, together with the application of the so-called of the correction coefficient, should have resulted in a relief of about 18.5 million euros. The projection of relief based on the cancellation of the water contribution currently exceeds 16.5 million euros.

At the same time, the fee paid by the members of the EKO balance group (renewable energy sources), which now burdens them by around four million euros per year, should also be abolished in its entirety. Huge levels of relief for enterprises otherwise obliged to pay fees for the use of general forest functions are also coming. They will decrease by 31 percent in the next three months alone, and current calculations reveal that today’s cost of 23.7 million euros per year will drop down to around 9 million euros less in the future.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce

One of the measures foreseen by the Action Plan is the abolition of the payment of mandatory Croatian Chamber of Commerce membership fees, which currently costs companies about 21 million euros per year. It is estimated that this will result in a relief of 7.7 million euros in total.

At the same time, almost twice as much relief, i.e. about 13 million euros, is expected as a result of the plan to halve the amount of fees for the right to use the radio frequency spectrum.


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