At the fifth extraordinary Parliament session, Serbian MPs discussed draft amendments to the law on the National Bank of Serbia, putting the work of the central bank under control of the highest executive body. It has been proposed that the law be enacted through an emergency procedure as, according to the Serbian Progessive Party (SNS), which has made the proposition, the NBS was unable to maintain financial stability in the market and control of financial institutions. More from Zorica Mijušković.
The key new elements in the bill include return of the supervisory office to the Parliament, election of NBS officials, including the government, in the Parliament, expansion of NBS Council competences and restrictions of the governor’s and Executive Committee Authorities, said an MP of the SNS, Veroljub Arsić, adding that the new bill by no means threatens the independence of the NBS or the decision-making method applied by the central bank. It was the control of financial institutions that was the weakest point of the central bank, which is why up to 400 million euros will have to be set aside by the state from taxpayers’ pockets in order that the situation in some financial institutions be improved.
The Socialist Party of Serbia, which forms the ruling coalition, will support the draft amendments because, as an MP of that party, Branko Ružić, said, they introduce a higher degree of parliamentary supervision of the SPS. The amendments do not refer to personnel in the central bank, but to its role in the strengthening of the state’s financial stability.
Milan Krkobabić, the MP whip of the United Pensioners’ Party (PUPS), said this party would support the amendments on the NBS as thus the new ruling majority would be able to realize an integral political programme, especially in the economic field. The monetary policy should be harmonized within the economic recovery. Another party in the ruling coalition, the United Serbia, and its leader, Dragan Marković, also support the amendments and they believe it is a good thing that the NBS will be obliged to submit a report to the Parliament every six months.
On the other hand, opposition representatives in the Parliament criticized the announced amendments on the NBS, adding its independence would thus be significantly reduced. According to the draft law, the governor, vice-governors, the director of the Administration for Supervision of Financial Institutions and members of the Council of the central bank are to be elected within 90 days after the law takes effect.