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Serbia’s budget lowered by EUR 57 million on poor collection of industrial waste fees

January 10, 2020 | Comments: 0Author:

Photo: State Audit Institution
Serbia’s budget lowered by EUR 57 million on poor collection of industrial waste fees

Serbia’s state budget revenues came in RSD 6.7 billion or EUR 57 million lower from 2014 to 2018 due to unpaid fees on imported vehicles, products that enter specific waste streams after use, according to the report on industrial waste management produced by the State Audit Institution.

The report by the agency known for its acronyms SAI and DRI includes the audit of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Vojvodina’s Provincial Secretariat for Urbanism and Environmental Protection, the state’s Environmental Protection Agency and the government-run power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije, EPS.

A total of 3,084 firms failed to provide data or their information on imported vehicles was incorrect

The SAI concludes that 3,084 companies did not submit data or provided incorrect information regarding imported vehicles in the 2014-2018 period and calculated the damage for the budget was RSD 6.7 billion.

In Serbia, 11.6 million tonnes of waste were generated in 2018, or 1.7 tonnes per capita

Revenues were lowered due to the lack of effective supervision and control over the industrial waste management, said Duško Pejović, President and Auditor-General of the SAI.

EPS’s ash and slag dump in Kostolac endangers human health

In Serbia, 11.6 million tonnes of waste, or 1.7 tonnes per capita, were produced in 2018. More than 9 million tonnes is industrial waste.

EPS is the largest generator of industrial waste and it did not follow the main project of rehabilitation, closure and reclamation of the ash and slag dump Srednje kostolačko ostrvo (Middle Kostolac island), according to the document. The landfill was not closed until July 2015, as foreseen by the main plan.

EPS did not comply with the main project of rehabilitation, closure and reclamation of the ash and slag landfill Middle Kostolac island because the dump was not closed until July 2015

As a result, two ash bunkers are open causing ash to be dispersed to surrounding settlements, which endangers the environment and human health, the SAI said.

In three years, EPS sold only 2.5% of ash to cement plants and brickworks

In 2018, EPS produced 7.5 million tonnes of waste ash, of which as many as seven million tonnes, or 93%, refers to material from thermal power plants (TPPs) in Obrenovac and Kostolac. In the past three years, EPS’s thermal power plants produced 20.7 million tonnes of ash, and a total of 525,000 tonnes was sold to cement and brick factories, which is only 2.5%.

The company’s costs for ash disposal 2016-2018 are RSD 9.4 billion, the report reads.

The ministry didn’t submit reports on the implementation of the strategy

One of the main conclusions of the report is that a more efficient industrial waste management system was needed in Serbia to protect and improve the environment.

Not all planning documents in the waste management sector were adopted

Not all planning documents in the waste management sector were adopted, which indicates that not all activities were undertaken to plan industrial waste management more efficiently, said Goran Čabarkapa, state auditor and leader of the team which prepared the report.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection did not prepare and submit reports on the implementation of the strategy to the Government of Serbia. The Assembly of Vojvodina province did not discuss reports on the implementation of regional and local plans in the province and did not submit them to the ministry and the agency. Municipalities did not prepare and submit reports on the implementation of local or regional plans to the competent authorities in accordance with the Law on Waste Management, SAI added.

About 80% of the industrial waste produced remains at the site of the producer itself

The Environmental Protection Agency’s data indicates that 80% of the industrial waste remains at the producer’s site, indicating a low share of industrial waste treatment.

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