Skopje, 7th October 2013 (MIA) – Starting this year until the end of September, Budget revenues in the amount of Denar 103,018 million were generated, while on the expenditure side, Denar 118,861 was generated. Regular payment of salaries, pensions, social contributions, increased capital investments and increased subsidies was provided. Deficit amounted to 3.2% of GDP or Denar 15,843 million.

This was pointed out by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, explaining the proposed 2013 Supplementary Budget.

He pointed out that it is a matter of small Supplementary Budget, covering only the expenditure side. Reallocation of funds as regards salaries on the basis of adjustments is envisaged, however the envisaged amount is not changed, afterwards additional funds are envisaged in the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Education and Science.

According to Minister Stavreski both the Budget and the economic policy in the past nine months of the years were realized with positive dynamics and allowed for the economy to reach positive results.

– Macedonian economy in 2013 achieved results, being better than the expectations. Results of Macedonian economy in the first nine months of 2013 were better than most EU countries, we can be satisfied since we not only preserved the macroeconomic stability but we have also achieved solid performance in all main macroeconomic parameters, including the growth of economy, foreign investments, export, employment, unemployment and everything that is significant for the economic outlook in the country, Stavreski said.

By indicating the data on the economy growth in the first two quarters of the year, he pointed out that the average growth in the first six months amounted to 3.4%, being the fourth best performance in Europe. – Only Latvia, Turkey and Iceland experienced higher growth than Macedonia in the first six months of this year. Thus, this performance showed that the politics supporting this economic growth is adequately set. In general, all those measures and activities we undertook in the past years, as well as the 2013 Budget the Parliament adopted allowed for this high economic growth rate to be achieved, taking into account that at the same time, the European economy in the first six months of 2013 experienced drop, the Minister said.

What is encouraging for him is that this growth arises from several sectors, being mainly a result of the growth in the construction, industry, export, as well as growth in the transport, agricultural and other sectors. – Economy growth has not been driven by the consumption but rather by the gross investments, increasing by 9% in the first quarter and 7% in the second quarter. It would be healthiest if it arises from gross investments, and the support provided from the Budget is also a large one, Deputy Prime Minister said.

According to him, the growth was mainly driven by the growth of construction, the growth rate of which accounted for 36.8% in the first quarter and 33.2% in the second one. They, as he added are exceptionally high growth rates, not being recorded in the construction sector in any European country, where due to the repressive policies, being implemented therein, were negative. In Macedonia, there are not only positive growth rates but there is rather exceptionally high two-digit economic growth.

He pointed out that the foreign investments in the first seven months reached EUR 130 million, being by 41% higher compared to last year.

According to him, all his contributed to reducing the unemployment rate, which was at historically the lowest level, i.e. 28.8% in the second quarter.

Minister Stavreski referred to the indebtedness of the country, pointing out that, by accounting for 33.8% of GDP at the end of the second quarter, it is one of the lowest indebted countries in Europe. – We realized the promise we made, i.e. that Macedonia will remain the lowest indebted country in Europe and that the Republic of Macedonia will not be dragged into the debt crisis as it was the case with all other countries, Minister said, adding that the Republic of Macedonia is the fourth lowest indebted country in Europe, being envisaged within both the Supplementary Budget and the Budget for 2014.

According to Minister of Finance, the fact that contributed to achieving these results is the process of settling the arrears of the countries towards the companies, which was projected under this Budget and successfully realized. – EUR 92 million ended at Macedonian companies, which provided for the liquidity of domestic companies and thus allowed for them to use these funds for investments and credit repayment. This policy of timely paying the invoices and the VAT refund is being realized even today and we will continue to realize it, Minister said, adding that this is one of the reasons for the level of the Budget deficit, accounting for 3.2% of GDP as of end-September inclusive.

By referring to the revenue side, he said that the tax revenues in the amount of EUR 57, 390 million were generated, while the revenues on the basis of social contributions in the amount of Denar 30,842 were generated. Non-tax revenues on the basis of administrative and court fees were generated in the amount of Denar 1,310 million, while capital revenues amounted to Denar 3,053 million, arising from the dividend of Macedonian Telecom and the sale of construction lots and social flats.

Expenditures for salaries, goods and services reached the amount of Denar 16,901 million, while social transfers accounted for Denar 55,315 million.

As for pensions, Denar 33,546 million was paid. – Regular and timely repayment of pensions was provided, Minister Stavreski said, adding that additional Denar 1,034 million for the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund is projected under the proposed Supplementary Budget, thus covering the payment for the increased number of pensioners by 6.600 for this year, the payment of the carried out indexations by 1.15% in January, by 0.75% in June and the envisaged 5% increase of pensions.

Social contributions were also regularly paid, for which Denar 4,384 was spent, Denar 15,898 for health services, while record Denar 5.5 billion was spent for paying subsidies to the farmers.

Capital expenditures composing the development component of the Budget, being generator of economic growth and employment, were generated in the record amount of Denar 11, 985 million, being higher by 17.8% than the level of capital investments at the end of last year. According to Minister Stavreski, this is an indicator of the good performance of the politics and everything that contributed to the growth of economy and the construction.

Additional funds for the laboratories in the Ministry of Education and Science are envisaged under the Supplementary Budget, some of them already operating, while some of are yet to be put into operation.

As for changes at other budget users, Minister of Finance pointed out that it is a matter of additional expenditures, generated by themselves.

As regards growth, he said that they expect for it to be higher than the projected one, however the GDP growth remains as it was projected under the Supplementary Budget.

The general debate about the proposed 2013 Supplementary Budget continues in the Commission.

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