24th November 2020, Skopje – Under the four pillars – Economic recovery from COVID-19, intensified, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, boosted competitiveness of the private sector and development of human resources and equal opportunities, a Strategy aimed at economic recovery and intensified growth of Macedonian economy will be implemented. The Strategy, as well as the fiscal consolidation policies and the medium-term public investment plan will be focused on protecting the health of citizens, the economy and the society, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi said at the beginning of the 2021 Draft Budget -related debate at the Financing and Budget Parliamentary Commission.
– A novelty as regards this Budget is its five-year framework, covering the 2021-2025 period, despite the challenges and the unknown factors the COVID-19 crisis brings, being based upon the following three medium-term platforms: A. 2021-2025 fiscal consolidation, B. Smarter growth 2021-2025 Strategy aimed at economic recovery and sustainable growth and C. 2021-2025 Public Investment Plan. Thus, our main goal, in the medium run, is to intensify the economic growth accounting foe 2%-2.5% in the last decade, to a 4%-5% average annual growth in the next five years, to be followed by achieving fiscal consolidation, all to the end of providing sustainable and inclusivegrowth – Besimi said.
Economic recovery from COVID-19 will be realized via measures aimed at protecting the health of citizens and the social protection of the most vulnerable categories, as well as providing support to the economy, the private sector and keeping the jobs – Minister of Finance pointed out. Measures and policies focused on intensified, inclusive and sustainable economic growth have been envisaged, which purpose will be good governance, rule of law, eradicating corruption and capacity building of institutions. Preserving fiscal sustainability, macroeconomic and financial stability, providing local and equal regional development, sustainable and healthy environment and digitalization of the economy and the public services are also among the goals thereof. At the same time, actions will be taken so as to boost the competitiveness of the private sector, strengthen the trade relations and integrate the global chains. Furthermore, activities will be undertaken, aimed at improving the business climate, tackling the informal economy, improving the access to finance and adapting the technologies and modernizing the agriculture – Besimi said.
-Investments in human capital remained to be the top priorities in the Strategy for economic recovery and intensified growth as well. Activities will be undertaken, aimed at creating equal opportunities, developing human resources by making investments in the field of education, science and health, promoting higher participation of the working able population and social protection and social insurance – Besimi said, adding that the policies and measures to be implemented under the Strategy aimed at economic recovery and intensified growth or Smarter growth, will contribute to achieving faster and sustainable economic growth – twice higher than the average in the past ten years.
Besimi pointed out that gradual fiscal consolidation will be also carried out, by which the budget deficit will be reduced by 3.6 percentage points in the next year already.
Total revenues of the 2021 Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia are projected at Denar 212.6 billion, being higher by 8.3% compared to the second 2020 Supplementary Budget, while expenditures are projected at Denar 247.5 billion or by 2.1% lower in relation to the second 2020 Supplementary Budget. Such projected revenues and expenditures have resulted in a budget deficit accounting for 4.9% of the projected GP or in the amount of Denar 34.9 million in absolute terms or by 3.6 percentage points lower compared to the projections under the second 2020 Supplementary Budget.