THE PACE of the downturn in the quality of the business environment in Slovakia slowed down markedly in the second quarter of this year, according to evaluations from entrepreneurs, head of the Business Alliance of Slovakia (PAS) Róbert Kičina said on August 28.

The Business Environment Index (IPP), prepared on a quarterly basis by PAS, stood at 63.9 points in the second quarter of the year, down by 1.07 percent compared to the previous quarter. Slovak businesses were the most dissatisfied with law enforcement, the administrative burden and the way in which equality before the law is exercised, the TASR newswire reported.

The most significant drop was recorded in the category of exercising the right to equality before the law. The unfavourable evaluation could also be the result of developments following the March presidential election, when politicians were reported to have attempted to skirt the financial limits set for campaigning without facing any threat of punishment.

Moreover, many businesses disliked the government’s favourable approach towards assisting selected larger entities instead of carrying out more systematic measures aimed at improving the entrepreneurial environment across the board.

Another poorly evaluated category was bureaucracy, citing delays in state and local administration offices and the numerous reports that businesses were obliged to present. An increase in the administrative and financial burden was also due to the implementation of the amendment to the law on public health protection, according to which even employees in less dangerous occupations must be subject to health supervision mechanisms. Another factor may have been changes to the tax laws that are currently being drafted, as reported by TASR.

The third biggest drop was seen in the category of law enforcement and the efficiency of the judiciary. This category was not evaluated the lowest, as it has been for some time, as a result of the new attitude adopted by President Andrej Kiska, who has taken a more active role in the process of appointing judges. Another positive factor was Supreme Court president Štefan Harabin’s failed bid for re-election.

The most notable improvements were found in price stability, which went hand in hand with statistics concerning lower inflation. Further improvements were seen in the relations of enterprises towards the environment, the openness of information regarding businesses, employment, the system of remuneration and social programmes, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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