Skopje, 28th May 2014 (MIA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski expects positive trends in the industry to continue in the coming period as well, contributing to achieving the projected growth of 3.5% of the economy by the end of the year.

– Official statistical data are not published yet, however, my expectations are, taking into account that economic policies are set on long-term and sound basis, that there are no reasons for the positive trends in the industry not to continue, the Minister said, answering a journalist question.

As regards budget deficit projection, he underlined that the Government would observe the projected budget deficit of 3.5% of GDP, i.e. it would remain within the deficit target despite the realization of significant capital projects, which entails use of higher amounts.

According to him, these were challenges they would have to face in the coming period, however, general budget framework with the planned projections for this year would be maintained.

As whether there would be supplementary budget, he pointed out that it was still early and that it would be estimated at mid-year whether there would be any need therefore. Should there be a need, it would be assessed and the size of the supplementary budget would be evaluated. According to Minister Stavreski, budget deficit was a result of seasonal factors, i.e. payment of subsidies and capital expenditures for infrastructure projects, such as highways, while the other expenditures were within the projections. – As regards subsidies, lower amounts will be paid in the rest of the year.

With respect to the support extended to the domestic companies, he said that they have expressed, at several occasions, their contentment with the government policies which, according to him, was a result of the stable business conditions. – In the past seven years, in particular five and a half years in conditions of crisis, the largest support we could extend was to keep the low taxes, being the lowest in Europe, Stavreski said.

As regards the other measures, he mentioned the tax exemption on reinvested profit on the basis of which the Government loses billion denars annually, the funds that remain with the companies and helped them endure in period of crisis, the cheap credit line from EIB in the amount of EUR 350 million, the capitalization of the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion and the available EUR 100 million to support export and agriculture, as well as the leveling of fines according to the economic power and the size of the company. – All these measures, as well as other policies, have provided for direct support to the domestic companies and I think that, on the whole, they are satisfied, Minister of Finance underlined.

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