The National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) has prepared a proposition of the regulation on the fee for environmental pollution, which would depend on the level of pollution caused by companies and which should replace the current one, said the head of the environmental unit at the NALED, Slobodan Krstovic.
He told Beta that there was a methodology for the calculation of the damage done to the environment by the pollution which should be implemented, and the income, according to the proposed solution, should be split evenly between the Republic of Serbia and local self-governments.
– The regulation on the criteria for determining the activities that affect the environment according to the degree of the negative impact on the environment was adopted in late 2019 quickly, because the polluters had not been listed, so fees ranging from two million dinars to five thousand dinars were proscribed for all – Krstovic said.
In mid-2020, in the midst of the pandemic, companies were issued decisions based on that regulation, requiring them to pay the local fee within said range, depending on whether they made a large, medium or small impact on environmental pollution, as per the regulation.
This led to cases where companies that had no impact on the environment were also charged, such as travel agencies, for which the fee was RSD 5,000, although it was not clear how they polluted the environment. Furthermore, many were not issued working licenses and it is not known if they are operational at all.
The fee, according to Krstovic, should only be a temporary solution for the current year, until all the polluters are listed and the new regulation is adopted.
The income collected that way, according to Krstovic, is an income of local self-governments, but most of them do not use those funds for the intended purpose, nor are the funds used purposefully on the state level either.
Big polluters, according to Krstovic, pay a fee on the state level of up to 0.4% of the income in the previous year and they money should be put into the Green Fund, which would be used to finance environmental protection projects.
Krstovic said that, at the state level, there was a fee for products which are treated as waste after use, such as cars, home appliances and other products.
According to him, it is a fee for special waste flows and, for example, Gorenje paid EUR 3 million in these fees to the budget of Serbia last year.
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