Skopje, 14th September 2014 (MIA) – Higher salaries in the public sector as of this year, and higher pensions and social welfare as of next year is envisaged under the 2015 Budget, being adopted at governmental session last night.

This was announced at Sunday’s press conference by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, presenting the 2015 Draft Budget. According to him, public administration salaries will be increased by 4% as of November this year with the payment of the salary for October.  As of July, the payment of the social assistance will increase by 5%, while pensions as of October with the payment of September’s salary will also be higher by 5%.

2015 Budget, as Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said, is aimed at meeting the Government’s priorities, that being support to the business sector and the private sector through capital investments, as well as the living standard of citizens.  As Stavreski stressed, the Draft Budget resulted from the comprehensive analysis, taking into accounts two trends – developments in the European economy and achievements of Macedonian economy this year.

– European economy showed negative signs, there was drop of industrial production in eight countries, as well as negative trends in German economy.  Macedonia, however,  has registered high 4.3% growth in the second quarter of the year.  We analyzed both trends and concluded that Macedonian economy, as a result of the economic growth, can afford increase of salaries, pensions and social welfare, thus improving the living standard of citizens, Stavreski said.

2015 Budget includes GDP growth projected at 4%, low inflation of 2% and budget deficit lower than this year’s one, accounting for 3.5%.  Total revenues for next year are projected to be higher by 5% than the ones from this year, and they will amount to  163 billion and 280 million denars, while the expenditures are higher by 4%, and they will amount to 181 billion and 777 million denars.

In addition to salaries and pensions, most of the expenditures are intended for subsidies for farmers, for which EUR 140 million is projected, as well as Denar 21 billion and 209 million for capital investments. Deputy Prime Minister  Stavreski pointed out that investments cycle in the road and the railway infrastructure would resume next year, pointing out several more significant projects such as Corridor 10 for which Denar 3.4 billion will be invested, and  one billion and 311 million denars for the railway infrastructure.  One billion and 765 million denars is envisaged for water supply network and wastewater treatment stations.

Total of Denar 600 million is envisaged for the municipalities.  Other investments include gasification (Denar 258, 817 million) and construction of public health institutions (Denar 529,716 million).  Denar 350 million is envisaged for PET Center, while Denar 600 million is envisaged for construction and reconstruction of secondary and primary schools.   Denar 737 million is envisaged for capital investments in the higher education centers in Macedonia.  Denar 295 million will be invested in sports projects, while Denar 138 million will be invested in construction of kindergartens.  Denar 360 million is envisaged for payment of laboratories.  One billion and 696 million denars is envisaged under the Rural Development Program, covering several projects in the municipalities of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as funds for construction of the hydro-systems in this country.  Denar 535 million is envisaged for completing the construction in the technological industrial development zones, where, as Stavreski pointed out, there are announcements for new investments.

Funds are also envisaged for large number of projects in the field of culture, such as construction of the Philharmonic orhectra building – Denar 185 million, construction of the Library and the Theater in Tetovo and the Albanian Theater in Skopje – total of Denar 180 million.  Stavreski said that the financing of the budget needs for next year is provided through the Eurobond, which Macedonia issued on time, and by which the foreign loans and other liabilities will be repaid.  No new domestic borrowing is envisaged, there were only be refinancing of the already issued securities.

I expect for the Republic of Macedonia to further remain country with macroeconomic and fiscal stability, retaining the trend of pick up of economic activity, supported as regards both investments and consumption, through these policies for increasing salaries, pensions and social welfare and investments, as well as realization of the other projects included in the Budget.  We will retain the current moderate level of indebtedness, putting us among the least indebted countries in Europe, Deputy Prime Minister said.  Draft Budget will be submitted to the Parliament tomorrow.

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