Tuesday, 7 September 2021

41st Sitting of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending

At the sitting held on 7 September 2021, the members of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending considered the Bill on the Confirmation of the Framework Loan Agreement LD 2070 (2020) between the Council of Europe Development Bank and the Republic of Serbia Student for Housing Project Loan, submitted by the Government.

Representative of the Ministry of Finance Dragan Babic presented the Agreement, signed in Paris on 7 July 2021, with the aim to improve access to university education, especially for students from low-income families. The Project’s specific goal is to provide access to university accommodation for 1,400 students through the construction of a new student dormitory with 400 beds in Nis and 1,000 beds in Belgrade. In order to secure the necessary funds, the Republic of Serbia sent a request to the Council of Europe Development Bank for a loan for partial financing of the Project, in the amount of no less than 32,000,000 EUR, which was approved by the Bank's Administrative Council on 13 November 2020.

This Agreement allows the borrower the possibility to choose a fixed or variable interest rate when withdrawing a tranche, which will apply throughout the repayment period. When withdrawing a tranche, the borrower can choose between annual, semi-annual and quarterly loan repayments. The front-end fee and the fee on undrawn loan funds will not be charged, and for each individual withdrawn tranche, the borrower will have the option of choosing a repayment period of up to 20 years with a grace period of up to five years included. The deadline for the availability of the loan funds is 31 December 2026, in accordance with the deadline for completion of the Programme.

Following the presentation, the Committee unanimously adopted the Bill.

In the continuation, the Committee Chair[person informed the members that the Slovenian Parliament, within the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union, had sent an invitation for the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability and Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union, to be held on 28 September, in video format. Tomic also mentioned the possibility of holding one of the coming Committee sittings outside the National Assembly seat.

The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairperson Dr Aleksandra Tomic and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Zoran Tomic, Zoltan Pek, Veroljub Arsic, Marina Mirkovic, Sonja Vlahovic, Ana Carapic, Dusko Tarbuk, Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic, Nikola Jolovic, Zoran Bojanic, Olivera Pesic and Dr Boban Birmancevic.

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