25th December 2018, Skopje – Public finance in the country were significantly improved in 2018 through the reforms pertaining to the tax, pension and social system, the public procurement system, the fiscal transparency, the prevention of money laundering, as well as the public debt management. It is a matter of set of 10 major reforms carried out this year. They will contribute to gradual reduction of budget deficit, control over the public debt, reduction of PDIF deficit, settlement of the inherited arrears and prevention of incurring new ones, better targeting of social transfers to all who need them, as well as greater fiscal transparency.
Tax reform carried out this year will provide for fair taxation system and gradual fiscal consolidation. Pension reform will provide for stabilizing PDIF and reducing its deficit. Social system reform was also carried out. It will provide for guaranteed minimum income, better targeting of social transfers, as well as funds for the most vulnerable categories.
-Public debt has been put under control. In 2016, public debt accounted for 48.8%, while today, it accounts for 48.2%. Investors’ confidence has been restored, contributing to reducing the interest rate and lengthening maturity of the respective instruments. This year, 30-year bond has been issued, as well as Eurobond with historically the so-far lowest interest of 2.75%. Fiscal consolidation is gradual, being aimed at preserving the public debt. Budget deficit for next year is also projected to be lower than this year’s one – both as percentage of GDP and in absolute terms – Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski said in a press release.
Tevdovski also stressed that the settling of the arrears inherited from the previous government is based upon systemic approach. First, as he said, a law and platform for mandatory recording of the arrears were also prepared by the institutions, the municipalities and the funds. Afterwards, we started resolving this problem, i.e. most of the arrears were settled. Minister Tevdovski underlined that legal mechanisms were also introduced, by which any potential accumulation of new arrears would be prevented.
This tea, public procurement system was harmonized with the European standards under the new Law on Public Procurement. This will provide for greater efficiency and increased transparency at public procurement.
Fight against corruption is carried out through the adopted measures for prevention of money laundering. Functionality of the public finance system has been improved. Pre-populated annual tax return has been introduced, as well as Customs Declarations and Excise Documents Processing System and many other measures, wherefrom the citizens and the companies will directly benefit.
Continuous activities are undertaken, aimed at improving the fiscal transparency, as the best mechanism for public financial management control. Web platform was created for the Citizens’ Budget, a number of reports, having qualitatively better data, are continuously published. Payments through the Treasury’s Account will be soon available to the broad public through a web platform created therefor.