Zagreb - Debating an annual report on state aid in 2018 in the Croatian parliament on Friday, lawmakers called for stronger support across the board for small and medium-sized businesses and for job creation.
State-Secretary at the Finance Ministry Zdravko Zrinušić said that state aid continued to grow in 2018, adding that the situation and developments at the Pula and Rijeka shipyards with enforced settlements of HRK 2.5 billion partly contributed to the state aid growth.
Regardless of the fact that enforced payments of guarantees disrupted the structure of aid, the small portion of key grants to small and medium-sized businesses and for employment is obvious, MP Branko Grčić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said. "It accounts for just 6% of overall aid and that is far too low," he said and added that state aid needs to increase across the board.
MP Ivan Šuker of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) believes that it is necessary to provide more support to entrepreneurs."Most support is inaccessible to our entrepreneurs, they have to have the fastest finger and click their applications by midnight. Entrepreneurs spend heaps of money on project preparation and then miss out on that money," he said.
Lawmakers also underlined the importance of monitoring the effects of state aid.
Last year HRK 14.8 was granted in state aid, which is an increase of 18.3% on the year. Aid to the agriculture and fisheries sector amounted to HRK 6.16 billion, while aid to industry and services reached HRK 8.65 billion.