REPORTER: Will there be changes in the budget for the following year with respect to allotments to individual line items?
KONDIC: The biggest jump in budgeted funds for 2000 relates to the category of war veterans and disabled war veterans. Instead of the previous amount of 56 million, they are to receive 95 million convertible marks (KM). Since the budget cannot increase more than nine percent in 2000 in comparison with 1999 we were forced to change other amounts - first and foremost in terms of government expenses as well as in joint financing of public funds, such as the pension fund and the health fund. A significant decrease of ten percent was implemented with respect to expenses for the police and the army.
REPORTER: After the enactment of the law on war veterans' rights, it was foreseen that war veterans pensions would be secured by an adjustment of the budget. Why was this not done?
KONDIC: We expected to go ahead with the adjustment of the budget but since the budget was actually realized as planned and since we could not change anything significantly with respect to actual income, as well as due to the fact that the law was not published, we decided to leave the adjustment for the end of the year.
REPORTER: In the 1999 budget there were significant differences in individual line items relating to budgeted expenses - in favor of government expenses. How do you intend to avoid this in the coming year?
KONDIC: We have a situation where specific regulations permit the expenditure of state funds for various aspects of material expense, business trips, representation, wage arrears, subsidies for food and meals for employees, etc. We will insist on reducing the total public expenditures for the next year, and that regulations permitting such expenditures be canceled or revised.
REPORTER: This year is was marked by the almost complete withdrawal of the dinar from RS. How much have the policies of the RS government contributed to this?
KONDIC: In all honesty, those of us in RS could not influence this at all. We even invested considerable effort to renew financial relations with FR Yugoslavia. I think that some of our best work included our efforts during this year to prevent the change of the law on the Central Bank (CB), which leaned toward completely banning the use of the dinar in RS. We proved to the CB governor that this would be a harmful move. The dinar has stayed and it has been offered the opportunity to become a stable currency through the stabilization of conditions in FR Yugoslavia.