12 April 2019 - The Commission for the fight against the grey economy unanimously concluded at its first session held in an enlarged composition, in line with last week's decision of the Government, that competent authorities need to immediately increase the intensity and quality of the fight against all forms of the grey economy now that they are formally strengthened by the common position of representatives of the executive authority, inspection bodies, business community and trade unions.
The session, chaired by Chairman of the Commission, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System Milutin Simović, emphasised that the Commission, in its new composition covering the entire spectrum of relevant stakeholders, is sending a strong signal of common position, interest and synergy in overcoming challenges of grey economy in the interest of employees, business community and additional income for health and education funds, therefore, in the interest of all citizens of Montenegro.
"The Commission in this composition should be an alarm clock for some institutions that do not work properly, but also for individuals. Like the Commission, we will insist on rewarding those who do business in a high-quality and efficient manner and sanctioning those who fail to answer the tasks," he underscored.
At the session, reports from the competent authorities on the results of combating grey economy in the first quarter of 2019 were presented, as well as reports on the overall trends in the labour market and grey economy in tourism. In that regard, the Commission noted that the reports show that the grey labour market has been active throughout the year and that the focus of the competent authorities could not only be placed on the tourist season. In particular, the structure of employees in the economy is such that 53.5% of business entities have one employee, while in the field of tourism and catering one employee has 2.487 subjects or 42.50% of those engaged in this activity. Formally, one employee has 147 hotels; the session stressed. In that context, it was concluded that micro, small and medium enterprises are one of the key grey economy generators in Montenegro and that these economic entities will be subjected to rigorous controls by competent authorities in the immediate future. "The inspection bodies need to knock at their door urgently," the Chairman of the Commission underlined, adding that they have a choice - to report the employees before the arrival of inspections.
Representatives of the business community and trade unions expressed satisfaction with the fact that they are involved in the fight against gray economy, stressing that they fully share the interest of its suppression. The session emphasised the need to strengthen the capacities of the competent inspection services and deal with the lack of selectivity in their approach, thus enabling the consistent observance of the law, which should testifies to the principled policy of the State. The session emphasised the need to modernise certain solutions, announcing the issuing of a new excise stamp that will contain the highest level of protection.
The Commission, constituted last year by representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Police, Customs Administration, Public Revenue Administration and Inspectorate Administration, was amended last week upon the proposal of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System, by representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ministry of Social Welfare - Directorate for Labour Market and Employment, as well as representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro, Employers' Union, American Chamber of Commerce, Foreign Investors Council, Union of Trade Unions of Montenegro and Union of Free Trade Unions.