Hungary aid to Bosnia's Republika Srpska RS to buy machines

Hungary aid to Bosnia's Republika Srpska RS to buy machines

Part of the aid given to the Republika Srpska RS by Hungary will be used to buy Hungarian machines. To get such a machine, farmers will have to pay 30 percent of its value.

The Government of the RS has been encouraging farmers in Bosnia and Herzegovina BiH to apply for assistance in purchasing machinery and tools for the third week now.

The first part of the 100 million euro aid promised by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a private visit to Milorad Dodik, a member of the Presidency of BiH, was a 35 million euro earmarked for this purpose, the first part of the 100 million euro aid promised by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban last November in Laktasi near Banja Luka.

The invitation to apply for support from farmers in the RS is open until mid-October. The Progressus Foundation, founded by the Government of the RS and responsible for the implementation of the Hungarian program, is responsible for the application.

Agricultural producers can apply for grants in the amount of 2,500 euros to 25,000 euros.

After checking and evaluating the applications, the foundation sends them to Budapest for a final decision.

After the Foundation signs a contract with the users, they pay their share to the supplier, and the Foundation pays the grant amount and users get the machines, according to the Foundation in RS told Radio Free Europe RSE. The basic condition is that the machinery, equipment and tools are manufactured in Hungary.

Hungary's aid to RS in the amount of 100 million euros was announced at the end of last year.

Economist Svetlana Cenic recalls the friendship between Dodik and Orban and believes that Orban is giving Dodik pre-election support.

It is interesting that Orban is giving money, by which it is obvious that he wants Dodik to strengthen himself in power. It is not just about expanding some influence of Hungary because that will be difficult with this money, but it is that he gives tools to his Dodik's hands, says Cenic.

She adds that Hungary has set aside money to support farmers in the RS to be returned to Hungary, from where the machinery is delivered.

Admir Cavalic, a professor at the Faculty of Economics from Tuzla in the north-east of BiH, points out for RSE that it is not certain whether the Hungarian program can be qualified as grant aid. This is explained by the fact that farmers in the RS are conditioned to take only machinery produced in Hungary and at the same time give a participation of at least 30 percent. He states that farmers are later and long-term tied to Hungarian manufacturers in terms of service and parts for the purchased machines.

It can be understood as a support, but it can be understood as a domain of sales promotion. It is a good thing for both the buyer and seller, because it can be of mutual benefit. It is not support where grants, subsidies, and the like are received. Cavalic points out, writes Radio Slobodna Evropa.