22nd December 2023, Skopje – 2024 Budget, on today’s agenda at the Parliament plenary session, is based on the new fiscal rules of the Organic Budget Law and provides for conducting sound, predictable and sustainable fiscal policy in line with the budget deficit and public debt reduction, fostering economic activity via capital expenditures, as well as targeted support to the most vulnerable categories of citizens and businesses.

“2024 Draft-Budget targets the priorities by accordingly allocating funds in support for meeting the public needs of citizens and companies, i.e. providing conditions for sustainable economic growth, continuing the fiscal consolidation and strengthening the fiscal sustainability, allocating funds for targeted support of vulnerable categories of citizens and businesses, intensifying country’s convergence towards EU and fulfilling NATO’s membership obligations”, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi said, elaborating on the supplemented 2024 Draft Budget in the Parliament of Republic of North Macedonia.

He added that 2024 budget deficit is in line with the fiscal rules, i.e. projected at 3.4%, having in mind that 0.4% of the budget deficit is intended for anti-crisis measures, and additional 1.7% for interest payments for prior accumulated debts. The public debt is also under the scope of the fiscal rules’ framework and, by the end of the year, it will be under 60%, i.e. 59.3% of GDP. These policies are also to be followed through in the next period in line with the Fiscal Strategy and Public Debt Management Strategy.

The Minister underlines the key importance of changing the budget structure. “As of last year, capital expenditures increased by twice compared to 2020. This is also an on-going trend in 2024 Budget, with capital investments amounting to Denar 45.2 billion and being higher than the budget deficit.

Total revenues in the 2024 Budget are projected in the amount of Denar 310.1 billion, being higher by 10% in relation to 2023, with expenditures projected in the amount of Denar 343.6 billion, being higher by approximately 5.8% compared to 2023. Such projected revenues and expenditures result in lower budget deficit compared to 2023 by around Denar 9.2 billion, being projected in the amount of Denar 33.5 billion in absolute terms or 3.4% of projected GDP.

Funds intended for implementation of the already commenced infrastructure projects, i.e. investments in road, railway, energy and utilities infrastructure, as well as capital investments aimed at improving the conditions in the field of health, education and social system, agriculture, culture, sports, environment and judiciary.

Under the 2024 Budget, a projection is set out by an increase of 6.7% compared to 2023 for regular payment of the wages to the public sector employees, timely and regular payment of pensions, guaranteed minimum income and other social rights, payment of agricultural subsidies, support for small and medium-size enterprises, support and subsidizing innovation activities of enterprises.

Given the protracted uncertainty arising from the crisis, funds in the amount of EUR 60 million are projected in the Budget for targeted support to the vulnerable categories of citizens and businesses, as well as additional funds for support of other programs throughout the ministries, such as Energy Poverty Program and Guaranteed Minimum Income Program in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and so forth.

In 2024, economic growth is projected at 3.4% and inflation is forecasted to account for 3.6%.

According to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, supplemented 2024 Draft-Budget will be under five-day debate.

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