Prime minister’s false claim: Canton Sarajevo is not “five times more productive” than other cantons

The Prime Minister of Canton Sarajevo, Elmedin Konakovic, attended the session of the Cantonal Assembly held on 2.9.2015, when the rebalance of cantonal budget was discussed. 

dino konakovic

A resident of Canton Sarajevo is worth twice as much, because he produces five times more. A blow at that part of the economy would lead to the colaps of the Canton.

Elmedin Konakovic, September 2015

This statement was given by the cantonal prime minister as a comment on the initiative to equate the ponders for calculating public revenues for the cantons in the Federation of BiH. At current rates, Canton Sarajevo receives twice as much revenues from added value taxes than any other canton, which prompted the other cantons, primarily Canton Tuzla, to initiate a change the existing quotas.

Konakovic’s statement, the way it was reported in the media, gives no specific “object of comparison” for the “worth” of Sarajevo’s resident; however, it is rather clear that he was comparing the citizens of Sarajevo to those of other cantons in the FBiH. Without getting into the discriminatory attitudes displayed by Konakovic’s statement, we will only examine the accuracy of his claim that Canton Sarajevo “produces five times as much” as other cantons.

According to the Federal Institute for Programming Development, in 2014. Canton Sarajevo has contributed to the overall industrial output in the Federation of BiH with 22,4%, although it is the canton with the biggest population in FBiH. Canton Tuzla, on the other hand, participated with 32%, while Zenica-Doboj Canton is close to CS with 19%, which is still far from “five times less” than Canton Sarajevo.

Additionally, CS is undoubtedly a leader when it comes to the number of employees in the public administration, amounting to 15.831, clearly showing that CS is hardly focused on the productive sector. For comparison, this number is three times higher than in Tuzla Canton (5.186).

When looked into the number of employes in the productive sector, it is particularly interesting to notice that Canton Sarajevo has a total of 1.989 persons employed in the sector of production and distribution of electric energy, even though it hasn’t got a single power-plant, coal mine, or any similar energy facility. Again, when compared to Tuzla Canton – which hosts the biggest thermal power plant in BiH, and several coal mines –  we find that Tuzla Canton, despite being an actual producer of electric energy, has 1.912 employees in the same sector. Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, which has the biggest hydro power plant in BiH, has even less – 1.800. This shows that most of the people employed in the energy sector in Canton Sarajevo are also administrative workers, as the state owned Elektroprivreda BiH has its headquarters in Sarajevo.

As this data shows, Canton Sarajevo is certainly not “producing five times more” than other cantons in FBiH, so the cantonal prime minister is getting an “untrue” rating for this statement.



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