MAY 18 2015 18:03h
The House of Peoples in the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Monday adopted the 2015 draft budget as well as amendments to the criminal code, aligning it with international standards geared to preventing money laundering.
The draft budget was approved last week in the House of Representatives and amounts to 1 billion 563 million convertible marks (KM) (a little more than 800 million euros).
Of that KM 613 million is earmarked as repayments on the foreign debt which mature this year, while the remainder is to finance state government bodies.
The budget has increased to some degree in comparison with 2014 and additional funds have been set aside for the judiciary and police at the state level, including the state prosecution and the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) to facilitate a more effective fight against organised crime and terrorism.
The state budget is usually half the amount of the entity budgets as funding for health, education and social security are the responsibility of the BiH Federation and the Republika Srpska entities.
The amendment of the criminal code means that BiH has avoided sanctions for not being aligned with EU norms to cut off illegal money laundering channels in financing terrorism.
The code defines the powers that SIPA and the state prosecution have in the fight against money laundering.
The amendments also foresee stricter punishment for human trafficking and defines this as a separate criminal act.