Announced Measures to Prevent the Economic Crisis Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic
The proposed measures overview, presented by the Montenegrin Prime Minister, may be found herein below.
- Subvention for closed business activities – which shall be granted for April and May 2020 in the amount of 70% of the minimum salary and in the amount of 100% of the taxes and contributions on minimum salary for every registered employee in sectors that had to be closed due to measures for stopping the epidemic;
- Subvention for businesses at risk – which shall be granted for April and May 2020 in the amount of 50% of the gross minimum salary for each registered employee in sectors whose work is endangered due to measures for stopping the epidemic;
- Salary subvention for employees on paid leave – which shall be granted for April and May 2020 in the amount of 70% of gross minimum salary for each employee who had to stay at home to take care of a child under 11 years of age;
- Salary subventions for employees in quarantine or isolation – which shall be granted for April and May 2020 in the amount of 70% of the gross minimum salary for each employee who have had to be quarantined or self-isolated;
- Subvention for new employees –in the amount of 70% of the gross minimum salary for 6 months for entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium-sized companies that employ in April new employees, previously registered as unemployed persons at the Montenegro Employment Agency.
As announced, these subventions given by the state, through support to the economy and citizens, are exempted from enforced collection.
Aiming to overcome the economic crisis, additional benefits and support will be given to companies that were disabled to continue to work by the order of the Ministry of Health of Montenegro, as follows:
- State authorities, public administration authorities, institutions and other entities having public authority, founded by Montenegro, as well as companies whose major shareholder is the state, will be in a position to request the postponement of enforcement initiated by their proposal for a period of 60 days;
- For energy entities, exemption from the payment of a fixed part of the energy bills for the months of April, May and June will be provided;
- Every requested VAT refund will be realized within a maximum 45 days, and for business entities whose work was forbidden, the Customs Administration will extend the limit of exposure of the customs guarantee for deferred payment of customs debt from 30 to 60 days for the months of April and May.
The economic package also includes support for the agriculture and fishing industry. Accordingly, the following benefits shall also be provided:
- one-time support to commercial fishermen;
- payment of contributions for persons insured based on agriculture;
- one-time support for beneficiaries of the old-age benefits;
- support for the purchase of domestic products;
- support on payment of products to domestic producers within 15 days;
- favourable loans for the acquisition of working capital and payment of interest to the beneficiaries of these loans in the grace period, as well as
- advance payment of 80% of some individual premiums.
In addition to above-mentioned, the Government shall provide one-time support in the amount of EUR 50 to all unemployed persons registered at the Montenegro Employment Agency and who do not receive financial compensation or material security.
As announced, a dialogue on the proposed package of economic measures will be initiated, and thus the issuance of the by-laws regulating the conditions and procedure for exercising the right to the respective benefits is expected.