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Montenegro NGOs Demand that Lottery Money are Used to Build a Kindergarten

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After Damir Rašketić, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro, resigned from his the position of Chairperson of the Commission for Distribution of Funds Collected from Lottery and Games of Chance to the nongovernmental organisations last week, several representatives of Montenegrin NGO sector commented that the other members of the Commission should follow his example.

The NGOs demanded from finance minister Radoje Žugić to annul the last call for applications for funding to prevent abuses of public money worth in excess of €2 million per year.

Rašketić resigned after several months as Commision's Chair, position he inherited from Boris Bušković, after receiving a torrent of letters with accusations of suspect past practices in the distribution of funding for NGOs and allegations that money were allocated on basis of political, friendship and interest relations. Significant portion of the money went to NGOs for "projects" that they never realized, and the leaders of those organizations pocketed the money, Vijesti.me news site reports.

The Cultural Network of Montenegro (CKM) called on minister Žugić to annul the competition, the results of which were not yet announced in spite of the fact that all legal deadlines passed long time ago. CKM warns that it would not be prudent, at this time of crisis, to distribute close to €2 million from the State Budget to be spend on something that has yielded little, if any, result so far.

„Instead, we propose to the Government of Montenegro to use the money earmarked for NGO to build a kindergarten in the newly established Municipality of Petnjica", CKM said (CDM.me reports).

According to the Youth with Disability Asssociation (UMHCG), the fact that Rašketić’s resignation followed immediately after the Decision to suspend the payment of remaining 2012 funds for NGOs that work in the area of satisfaction of needs of disabled persons indicates that the state has no instruments or desire to deal with the irregularities and implement the decision of Administrative Court. (Source: Vijesti.me, cdm.me)

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