21st November 2020, Skopje – EUR 1.14 billion has been set aside from the 2021 Budget, intended for the economic affairs field. They will provide for supporting the investments activities of domestic enterprises, attracting foreign direct investments, investing in the development zones, small- and medium-sized enterprises, boosting competitiveness, supporting domestic tourism – Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi said in an interview for “Capital” Magazine.
He underlined that the health was the key word in the 2021 Draft Budget. During its creation – the health of citizens was the top priority, followed by further recovery of the economy, a sound public finance system and well-functioning social system as a whole, by having in mind that all these matters are mutually connected.
– The health of citizens is our top priority. Therefore, EUR 664 million has been set aside in the field of health, which will provide for covering the public and health services, the medical supplies and equipment, as well as the capital investments in the health sector. Moreover, EUR 1.47 billion has been allocated for the social protection as support to the vulnerable categories, active employment measures and other measures aimed at providing a decent life for all citizens, – Besimi said.
To the end of providing stable public finances, fiscal consolidation process is to be carried out, Besimi pointed out, adding that the gap between revenues and expenditures will be gradually reduced.
-As for next year, budget deficit accounting for 4.9% od GDP has been projected, or by 3.6 percentage points less compared to the projected 2020 budget deficit. In the medium run, budget consolidation is planned to be resumed, to the end of achieving -2.1% budget deficit by 2025. Thus, in the medium run, the public debt will be also stabilized at a level below the Maastricht criterion or accounting for 58.8% of GDP in 2025 – Besimi said.
Minister of Finance stressed that the Budget will provide for taking strategic actions in several areas, at the same time providing buffers for new measures under the P1 Program – Measures for Coping with COVID-19 Crisis for the Government.