27th June 2024, Skopje – 2024 Supplementary Budget is being prepared within the Ministry of Finance. Funds will be provided for wages and pensions, and all liabilities incurred pursuant to law, while making cuts on the non-priority and non-productive expenditures. Immense challenges are ahead of us, the realized projected deficit accounts for around 90%, however, we will manage to cope therewith.

This was pointed out by Minister of Finance, Gordana Dimitrieska – Kochoska in her first podcast guest appearance since she has taken office, titled as “Where is the Money”, thereby also tackling the plans, the serious approach to operating, the fight against informal economy, the pension increase, as well as the announced loan worth EUR 1 billion.

“Ongoing conditions are unfavorable, given the considerable challenges we confront. I am not denying that we will, nonetheless, be able to deal therewith. As I stressed, higher wages and pensions are our top priority. At the same time, priority is to be given to all liabilities incurred by law, which must be repaid, followed by reallocating the remaining cash funds to the other positions,” Minister Dimitrieska-Kochoska said, thereby adding that there are positions, such as the example with the State Election Commission, where is severe shortage of funds for repaying the liabilities incurred by law. This also applies for the repayment of pensions, with less funds by Denar 2.5 billion being projected therefor.

She also stated that the realized budget deficit accounts for 90%, however, there will be room for expenditure execution given that the stock thereof is to change with the upcoming inflows into the Budget, due to which changes must be made in the leading positions in PRO and the Customs Administration, as early as possible. Combatting informal economy is also significant, which will be seriously dealt with.

Under the Supplementary Budget, funds will be provided for repaying the projected increase of pensions by Denar 2,500, as of the September pension, which is to be paid in October.

There is shortage of Denar 2.5 billion in the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund, being intended for repaying the pensions. SDSM and DUI projected less funds by Denar 2.5 billion, i.e. EUR 40 million, intended for pensions, which would have had to be provided at all events. Additional EUR 40 million is required for increasing the pensions by Denar 2,500. I have no doubt that we will manage to provide these funds”, Minister of Finance said, thereby adding that those funds will not be provided from the announced loan of EUR 1 billion. However, as she pointed out, pensioners will receive another Denar 2,500 up to June next year, perhaps even earlier, thus fulfilling the promise made as regards the linear increase of pensions by Denar 5,000.

She also said that the announced loan of EUR 1 billion will be extended by an EU Member State, being intended for capital projects.

“As we have repeated so many times, these funds will be provided by an EU Member State. Funds will be destined solely for projects, and they will not be disbursed at once. These funds will be a steadfast buffer so as to feel safe in case much worse developments await us. However, this does not imply that they will not be absorbed. On the contrary, the first EUR 250 million will be extended in the shortest possible time, which will be geared towards the private sector and made available by the Development Bank via the commercial banks, under exceptionally favorable terms and conditions with interests lower than 3%, Minister of Finance, Dimitrieska- Kochoska stated.

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