Skopje, 23rd July 2015 (MIA) – 2015 Budget execution in the first six months exceeded the expectations. Collected revenues have been higher than the projected ones and under the Draft Supplementary Budget, they will be translated into expenditures for the announced policies, measures, activities and projects.

This was announced today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski explaining the Draft 2015 Supplementary Budget to the members of the Financing and Budget Commission in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia.

He underlined that budget expenditures were executed in line with the projections.  Budget deficit in the first six months reached Denar 9.521 billion, accounting for 1.7%, being exactly half of the projected 3.5%.  Total revenues were higher by Denar 2.583 billion compared to 2014, while expenditures amounted to Denar 87.652 billion, being higher by 5% compared to 2014 as projected.

– Total tax revenues in the first six months this year were collected in the amount of Denar 78.131 billion, being by 14% more compared to previous year.  Budget revenues were significantly higher  compared to 2014, while in relation to the planned 2015 Budget revenues, they were higher by 6%, Stavreski said, adding that VAT revenues were reduced, which was compensated by higher revenues on the basis of profit tax and excises.

Profit tax revenues were higher by Denar 4.964 billion, revenues on the basis of excises were higher by Denar 704 million, while VAT revenues were lower by Denar 911 million.

As for the revenue side, as Minister pointed out, collection of social contributions was higher by 8.2% than the projections, whereby collection of pension insurance contributions amounted to Denar 15.912 billion, while collection of health insurance contributions amounted to Denar 6.510 billion.

Expenditures, as Stavreski said, were executed in the amount of Denar 87,652 billion, being higher by 5% compared to 2014 as projected. As regards salaries, goods and services and transfers, budget users were regularly paid, under which, the envisaged measures for increase of social assistance, regular payment of pensions, subsidies and similar were also realized.

–  Regarding expenditures, there were no cuts for any of the budget users, since the initial Budget provided for generating savings by making cuts wherever possible,  as same as in the previous years.  On the other hand, we wanted to protect the socially vulnerable categories and to provide sufficient funds for capital investments, and this policy will continue within the 2015 Supplementary Budget, Minister Stavreski pointed out.

He went on that capital expenditures will be higher by Denar 1.115 billion, to be used for intensifying the activities for several high priority projects.   

Highest amount will be allocated for the project for gasification of Klecovce Stip section, amounting to Denar 370 million. Additional Denar 377 million has been provided for projects for water supply and sewerage in all municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia. Additional Denar 22 million is intended for the Ministry of Education and Science for the purpose of financing the reconstruction and renewal of schools.  Additional Denar 60 million has been provided for financing the reconstruction of “Goce Delcev” student dormitory.

Minister Stavreski underlined that funds for salaries, goods and services, pensions and subsidies have been regularly paid so far and that all measures for increasing the social assistance have been implemented. Under the Supplementary Budget, as he said, funds are envisaged for regular payment of the social assistance increased by 10%, as well as additional funds for all socially vulnerable categories, increase of pensions by 5% as of October, as well as for scholarships.

Stavreski pointed out that it is expected for the budget deficit to be preserved and for the public and the government debts to be retained under the Supplementary Budget.

As he said, budget deficit is projected at 3.5%. In the first six months, it accounted for 1.7% as it was initially planned.

As regards government and public debts, he said that, to the end of further debt management, in February 2015, the debt towards the IMF was early and fully paid, by which the government and public debts were reduced by 1.7 percentage points.  Thus, as Stavreski added, Republic of Macedonia practically remained within the zone of moderately indebted countries with a public debt accounting for 43.6% of GDP and government debt amounting to 36% of GDP.

On the basis of the Supplementary Budget projections, according to the Minister, it is expected for the Budget development component to be strengthened  and for all socially vulnerable categories to be protected.

Under the Supplementary Budget, GDP growth is projected at 3.5%, being by 0,5% lower than the initially projection due to the complex conditions under which Macedonian economy was functioning.   

According to Minister of Finance, solid growth of 3.5% will be still recorded, assuming that by the end of the year, the domestic political risk, as well as the external risks related to the Eurozone given the last developments, will gradually stabilize.

Debate about the Draft Supplementary Budget in the Financing and Budget Commission should end in 10 business days.

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