Minister for Finance Zoran Stavreski, justified the draft budget for 2016 before members of Parliament today. He expects that next year the political atmosphere will have a higher degree of political stability, which will create a better climate for the economy, and for the realization of investments for citizens to bring better consumer decisions.
Minister Stavreski, explained to the MPs that he expects real GDP growth of 4 percent. The growth of the economy, according to Minister of Finance, will be supported by the implementation of projects in infrastructure, supporting companies through cheap loans and an increase in foreign investment.
“The main feature of the budget for 2016 is beginning the process of fiscal integration, which means that the fiscal strategy over the next three years, we will have to reduce the budget deficit and maintain the level of public debt at moderate levels. The budget deficit for next year will be 3.2 percent of GDP, and in 2017 it will be 2.9 percent and 2.6 percent for 2018”, stressed Minister Stavreski.
He said that exports will increase by 8.1 percent and imports by 6.8 percent.
“We expect a high level of gross investment. From next year we expect a stable monetary sector, price stability and the exchange rate and inflation to be no higher than 2 percent. The deficit of the current balance of payments will range from 1 to 1.5 percent and will have a sustainable level of foreign reserves by 4 percent”, said the Minister for Finance.
According to him, the budget should be a combination of developmental and social components. He noted that capital investment is at its highest level in the countries history, but there are more resources to support the socially vulnerable categories of citizens and pensioners.
For next year, the payment of social transfers will be higher by 5 percent.
The budget will include more money for health care, approximately 25 billion denars. To support balanced regional development, 25 578 million hve been allocated, which is 15 percent more than it was 2015.
Regarding road infrastructure, i.e. Corridor 10, 2.579 million denars have been allocated for that project, while 12 384 million denars for the construction of dozens of roads and another 2.200 million denars for railway infrastructure.
For the second phase of the national gasification system, 35 million euros have been allocated.
The planned deficit is 3.2 percent, according to Minister Stavreski, which will be financed from domestic and foreign sources, to be more precise, through Euro bonds in the domestic market.