The Head of the World Bank's Belgrade Office, Simon Grey, said that Serbia should use the granted loans better and stop asking for new ones and warned that our country may stay without already approved loans because "there is definitely a problem" with their withdrawal.
He says that the World Bank will make the decision in April about whether to reduce some of the already granted loans or give them to somebody else because Serbia does not know how to use them. He also says that the World Bank is not going to approve any investment loans to Serbia this year, except for 200m USD for support to the budget.
- There are also some signs of improvement, but it can not be said that everything is in order when it comes to the withdrawal of the approved loans. Therefore, Mrs. Jane Armitage, the World Bank's Country Director and Regional Coordinator for South East Europe, will come to Serbia in April to see how the money granted for certain projects is spent - Grey said in the interview for today's (January 18, 2010) issue of newspaper Blic.
He specified that she would check the state of realization of certain projects such as irrigation and drainage, central register within the pension project, etc.
Grey pointed out that penalties did not exist, but that the World Bank was thinking about whether the granted funds were adequately used.
- If it is clear that they are not being used, then we will come to the situation to consider whether to reduce that loan or give it to somebody else. I don't know if that is some kind of penalty, but that will be one of the options if the situation stays as it is- the Head of the World Bank's Office in Serbia warned.
He pointed out that the World Bank would make the decision in April, after the visit of Mrs. Jane Armitage, in agreement with the Government of Serbia.