New Loans Only For Municipalities Run by SNSD

In less than a month, the RS Development Bank handed out loans to Prnjavor, Kalinovik, Novi Grad and Teslić, while Foča, Pale and Istočno Novo (East New) Sarajevo have waited in vain for development money.

The Republika Srpska Investment and Development Bank is continuing to dish out loans to municipalities run by the Alliance of Independent Social-Democrats (SNSD), while those controlled by opposition parties have waited for months to hear about loan applications.

On June 16, the Stockholder Assembly Credit Board signed off on loans of 3 million KM for Prnjavor, 850,000 for Kalinovik, and 730,000 KM for Novi Grad. Twenty days earlier, Teslić municipality received 3 million KM. All four municipalities, run by mayors from the SNSD, waited less than a month to get the money they asked for.

Kalinovik received money from the Fund for the Development of Eastern Part of the RS. Foča, Pale and Istočno Novo (East New) Sarajevo applied for this same money months earlier. All of them, still waiting for approval, are run by officials from other parties. The Credit Board is headed by Milorad Dodik, — the president of SNSD and the RS prime minister. The bank notified Foča, Pale and Istočno Novo Sarajevo that it has been looking into alternative sources of funding for them.

According to the records collected by the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN), RS Development Bank had 11 million KM left in Eastern RS Fund at the end of 2009, enough to give loans to Foča, Pale, and Istočno Novo Sarajevo had that surplus been carried over into the new year.

While these three municipalities have been kept waiting for funding, Novi Grad has gotten two loan approvals. The municipality received an IRB loan of 570,000 KM Dec. 8 in addition to the June 16 loan. Dec. 8 was the same date Foča, run by mayor Zdravko Krsmanović of Serb Democratic Party applied for 2.71 million KM.

In June, CIN published an investigative project on the bank showing that municipalities run by SNSD and its coalition partners had an easier time getting IRB loans than those held by the opposition parties. Dodik has warned in repeated public addresses that towns ruled by opposition parties would find that they would have trouble getting government attention.