AmCham, the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, NALED and USAID BEP jointly organized a conference on the subject: “Construction Permits - Unified Procedure and Planning Documentation in Practice”.
The conference was opened by Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, who stated that the number of construction permits issued has increased by 27 per cent since the start of issuing permits using unified procedures on March 1st, 2015. The deputy Prime Minister also reminded her listeners that from January 1st 2016, by introduction of Electronic Issuance, we will be just a click away from obtaining a construction permit.
"The first step towards harmonization and comprehensive planning documents in Serbia would be the digitization of planning documents and the creation of a web portal on which all plans were published. This would provide easy access to existing and missing plans, both for the public and investors," said Vladimir Pavlović, Vice President of the AmCham Real Estate Committee.
The first panel discussion on planning documentation illustrated that it is necessary to have a strategic approach to budget planning for the development of plans, bearing in mind that solving the problem of inadequate planning documentation will also promote economic development of cities and municipalities. Also, the conclusion is that one should not ignore the role of the competent Ministry in this process, which should regularly report to the public on the status of preparation of planning documents and coordinate follow-up activities with local governments.
The second panel discussion on unified procedure emphasized the need to amend existing regulations or create new regulations for the construction of infrastructure, but also for line projects such as roads, telecommunications and utility infrastructure. Legalization of infrastructure facilities is of particular importance, especially when applying for connection to infrastructure that is not legalized.
General conclusions from the conference were that the new Law on Planning and Construction provided positive results, particularly by creating a one-stop shop for construction permits through the application of unified procedure, whereby this process is significantly accelerated. However there is still room for improvement, particularly in the field of planning documentation.
In order to implement the conclusions of the conference, AmCham, USAID BEP and NALED will prepare an action plan with the government institutions and holders of public authority, which will be presented to the Government of Serbia and the Ministry in charge.
The conference attracted representatives of the State, the City of Belgrade, the Belgrade Land Development Public Agency, the Directorate for Planning and Development in the City of Niš, the Urban Planning Institute of Belgrade, the Republic Geodetic Authority, the Secretariat for Urban Planning and Construction, Public Water and Sewerage ''Naissus'' – Niš, Public Enterprise “Roads of Serbia“, Public Enterprise “Electric Power Industry of Belgrade,” as well as representatives of local self-governments.