6th November 2022, Skopje – More funds have been projected for higher pensions, stimulating the generation of agricultural yields, harmonizing public sector wages with the minimum wage, as well as developing the economy via infrastructure investments and support to the private sector. 2023 Draft Budget is aimed at responding to the ongoing crisis, with EUR 250 million directly intended therefor. However, it is also aimed at boosting the economy, all to the end of attaining the desired and necessary 5% economic growth rates – Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi wrote in his newest column.
“As regards social transfers, Denar 75 billion is projected for payment of pensions, i.e. by around 10% more compared to this year, all to the end of providing funds for pension indexation as per the CPI trends, accounting for 50%, and the increase in the average wage, accounting for 50%. Denar 12.5 billion is projected for payment of social protection benefits for the most vulnerable categories. Denar 1.5 billion is also projected for payment of unemployment benefit and active employment measures each”, Besimi wrote.
Expenditures related to wage payment are projected in the amount of Denar 34.9 billion, in line with the existing legal solutions, i.e. the amount is higher by Denar 1.6 billion, to the end of harmonizing public sector wages with the minimum wage in the course of the next year in line with the new methodology. We remain committed to optimizing the employees’ capacities in the public sector.
Subsidies are also projected for managing crisis situations as regards supply of necessary energy products and stimulating the national electricity generation. Moreover, funds are also allocated for agriculture subsidies, intended for increasing the national vegetable and animal production and stimulating the generation of yields. Subsidies to the private sector are also envisaged, intended for supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises, boosting the competitiveness, innovation activity, technological development and research, new investments, supporting the export and conquering new markets, supporting job creation and similar.
Besimi pointed out that what is particularly important and rightfully gives this Budget the epithet “developing” is that 2023 Budget is based upon the “golden rule” of public finances, i.e. capital expenditures to be higher than the budget deficit, i.e. to borrow only for projects that will add value to the economy.
“Under this Budget, capital expenditures are projected at Denar 48.9 billion (EUR 791 million), being by around 52.3% higher compared to 2022 projection. They are intended for speeding up the implementation of infrastructure projects, i.e. investments in road and railway infrastructure, energy and utilities infrastructure, as well as capital investments aimed at improving the conditions in the health, education and social systems, agriculture, culture, sports, environment protection and judiciary, as Minister of Finance wrote.