Skopje, 24th September 2015 (MIA) – 2016 Draft Budget, adopted by the Government, was today elaborated by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, saying it has a development component as a result of the higher amount allocated for capital investments and the socially vulnerable categories.

– Basic features of 2016 Budget are reduction of the budget deficit from 3.6% this year to 3.2% next year and increase of the funds for pensions, social assistance and capital investments, for the purpose of intensifying the development component of the Budget, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said at the press-conference.

According to the Draft Budget, total revenues are projected at Denar 195,788 million, being by 6% higher than those in 2015, while total revenues are projected at Denar 176,804 million, being higher by 4.7% compared to 2015.

– Such ratio, i.e. higher growth of revenues compared to the projected increase of expenditures will result in decreasing the Budget deficit to 3.2%, which will amount to Denar 18,984 million, Stavreski pointed out, adding that the budget deficit reduction is a step forward in realizing the fiscal strategy for the next medium-term period, envisaging for Budget deficit to be reduced below 3% in 2017, thus providing  for  the debt level to be fully stabilized and to be preserved at a moderate level as well, as so far.

On the revenue side, it is expected for tax revenue collection to grow by 6.5%, amounting to  Denar 101, 531 million, non-tax revenue collection is projected  in the amount of Denar 9,633 million, being higher by Denar 519 million, while  contribution collection is projected to surge by 4.2%, amounting to Denar 49,187 million.

As for the expenditures, in addition to the funds envisaged for higher pensions and social allowances, funds higher by 3.3% or Denar 25,906 million are planned for salaries, Denar 19,618 million or funds higher by 3.5% are projected for goods and services, and funds have also been provided for the elections in April 2016, as well as for transfers. As he said, substantial amount of funds are envisaged for health projection, amounting to Denar 1,334 million, higher transfers for local government units aimed at providing equal regional development, as well as EUR 14 million for subsidies to farmers.

– Capital projections are projected at Denar 25,092 million, being higher by 12.9% than those in 2015, Minister of Finance said.

He went on that more funds are planned for intensifying the activities related to Corridor 10 Project, which should be completed by the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, Denar 2,203 million is envisaged for the railway infrastructure, more funds are also planned for water supply and sewerage systems, which together with loans from EIB and KfW amount to Denar 3,047 million. Denar 428 million is planned for the gasification project, Denar 304 million is aimed at social flats, Denar 197 million is envisaged for medical equipment, as well as funds intended for reconstruction and construction of health facilities in Stip, Tetovo, Kicevo, Cair and the Clinical Center in Skopje, cultural and sports facilities, primary and secondary schools, student dormitories, universities, technological and industrial facilities, and similar.

– It is a matter of Budget based upon two main pillars, i.e. the policies we implemented in the previous period, such as helping for Macedonian economy to develop through high level of capital investments on one hand, and providing for stability in particular for the vulnerable categories of citizens and protection of their living standard through the respective increase of funds intended for the pensioners and the beneficiaries of social assistance, on the other, Stavreski said.

Economic growth is expected to account for 4% of GDP, while inflation is projected at 2%.  Construction, industry and net export will be driving forces of growth, he said.

According to Stavreski, such Budget will provide for  2016  to also end with moderate level of indebtedness, whereby the macroeconomic stability will be preserved,  thus starting 2017 with sound fiscal position, which will contribute to preserving moderate level of indebtedness and realizing the most significant projects in the coming medium-term period as well.  

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