A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will on Monday start the fourth review under the Stand-By Arrangement concluded with Serbia, and opposite opinions can already be noticed on the possibility of rising salaries and pensions.
Despite assessments that the programme is delivering positive results, the IMF mission head, James Roaf, has said that no conditions have been created for a pay rise in the public sector this year and the next, however, Serbian Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic believes that this topic can be on the agenda of the talks with the IMF delegation.
I am sure that in the continuation of the launched reforms, we will reach the point when it will be realistic to discuss a rise in salaries and pensions, Vujovic told local media outlets.
According to Finance Ministry data, Serbia's public debt came to 24.25 billion euros at the end of April, that is 71.13% of the country's GDP. For instance, in 2008, its debt was 8.78 billion euros or 28.3% of GDP.
The Serbian authorities treat the arrangement with the IMF as precautionary. The Fund's Executive Board approved the 36-month, SDR 935.4 million (about €1.2 billion) SBA for Serbia on February 23, 2015.