The Protector of Citizens, Zoran Pašalić, welcomed today the adoption of the decree of the Government of Serbia, which effectively accepted the opinion of this institution dated 30 December 2022, which proposed an amendment to the regulation on granting subsidies to mothers for the purchase of their first real estate, in order to prescribe shorter deadlines for deciding on requests and shorter deadlines for transferring the approved funds to a dedicated account, as well as the need to consider the possibility of exercising rights under this regulation for those female citizens who did not exercise that right due to misunderstanding of the prescribed procedure.
"Acting on the citizen's complaint, on 30 December 2022, we sent an opinion to the Ministry of Family Welfare and Demography and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, in which we suggested that they jointly consider the possibility of speeding up and simplifying the process of granting subsidies. I am satisfied that our joint efforts have resulted in an improvement in the realization of citizens' rights", Pašalić said.
In September 2022, the Protector of Citizens launched a control investigation into the work of the competent authorities based on a complaint of a citizen who said that it was difficult for her to fulfil the conditions prescribed by the Regulation in practice, especially when it comes to purchases through bank loans, considering the deadlines and compliance of the buyer, seller and real estate agency.
After the control investigation, the Protector of Citizens issued an opinion on 30 December 2022, in which he asked the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Family Welfare and Demography to jointly consider the possibility of amending the then-current regulation in order to prescribe shorter deadlines for deciding on requests and deadlines for transferring the approved funds to a dedicated account. According to the new regulation, the commission decides on the submitted request no later than 30 days after receiving the necessary documentation.
Also, the Protector of Citizens, in his opinion, proposed to the ministries to consider the possibility of amending the Regulation in order to enable citizens, who were unable to exercise this right due to misunderstanding of the prescribed procedure and due to the conclusion of the sales contract before submitting the application for subsidy, to exercise their right to financial resources for the construction or participation in the purchase of an apartment based on the birth of a child. The new regulation stipulates that in these cases, the commission will repeat the procedure if the applicants whose requests were rejected, repeat the request for the allocation of subsidies within 30 days from the date of entry into force of the new regulation.
In his opinion, the Protector of Citizens proposed to these ministries, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, to issue an instruction to all municipal and city administrations in which the procedure, conditions and documentation necessary for exercising the right to funds for participation in the purchase of an apartment based on the birth of a child would be explained, in order to prevent possible future omissions.