In order to help returnees to the Serb dominated entity of Republika Srpska, the Bosnian federation has reached a decision to finance projects of agriculture and small businesses.
The government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has decided last week to spend nearly five million euro on projects to financially empower returnees to the Republika Srpska territory.
The money will come from the Federal budget for 2012 and it will be administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Foresting and Development as well as the Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons.
The money will be handed out in two parallel projects “Building and equipping farms and other facilities, and granting agricultural mechanizations and greenhouses” and “Investments, projects and funding of small businesses and agriculture”.
The government has devoted three million euros for purchasing machines and reconstruction on destroyed farms. The project is designed in such a way that the applicants must provide 30 percent of the funds for the total project, either through their own funds or through loans of the Turkish Ziraat Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
A commission in charge of dispensing money to returnees has approved 74 applications to rebuild and equip farms and as well as 152 applications for helps with buying machines and greenhouses.
“The decision which grants to approve was done by the Federal Ministry of Refugees and Displaced Persons, after receiving 344 applications. The exact amount of funds for each user will be decided later, when the Ministry decides on the most suitable providers”, said the Federation government.
The second project – aimed to help small businesses – is estimated at around 1.7 million euros, but the government has said that they have only approved part of the funds, while the rest will be given at one of the further sessions.
The Federation government also decided to improve control mechanisms for these two projects, so beneficiaries will have to submit semi-annual reports, provide proof they have employed the promised number of workers and that they regularly pay taxes.
“In case they do not comply with these obligations, and spend money in a non-transparent manner, their grants will be transformed into commercial grants, to be returned to the Turkish Ziraat Bank in Sarajevo”, said the federation government.