16th November 2023, Skopje – 2024 draft Budget provides for changing the economic scene in the country, in view of projecting higher expenditures and revenues and lower deficit and capital expenditures amounting to EUR 733 million. This was pointed out by Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, in his guest appearance in the evening news on MRT TV channel, thereby indicating the budget structure as crucial.
“The manner of structuring the Budget is significant since it is a matter of cash funds of the citizens and the budget sector, which are raised by the taxes paid thereby, thus providing for financing all needs. Budget positions under the 2024 draft Budget are much higher compared to last year. As per the projections, revenues will increase by 10%, expenditures are to pick up by 5.8%, implying a 3.4% deficit reduction, accounting for 8% during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Thereby, capital expenditures grew to EUR 733 million from the EUR 262 million in 2020, thus increasing by more than double. Wages are also increased by 18%, Minister Besimi stressed.
He stressed the already set dynamics of capital expenditure execution of over 70-80%, thereby adding that this year, EUR 500 million has already been executed as investments out of the projected EUR 730 million, being higher by 95% compared to last year.
“There are ongoing major infrastructure projects such as Corridor VIII and Corridor Xd highway sections, construction and rehabilitation of the eastern part of the Railway Corridor VIII section to Bulgaria, with grant funds provided therefor, coupled by EBRD funded projects pertaining to NOMAGAS, as well as other projects in the field of education, health and energy. These specific projects are already under implementation, thus changing the economic prospects for next year.
Minister expects for the execution of projected capital expenditures, i.e. public investments along with the private sector investments, with plenty of Programs destined thereto, to be driving force of the economic growth, projected at 3.4%.
“Economic growth is projected at 3.4%, which will be mostly impacted by public investments picking up by approximately 8%, as well as consumption, which will record an increase considering the wage growth. Thereby, wages will be also increased next year, with inflation returning to single digits”, Besimi indicated, thereby adding that the private sector will also have an input thereto.