2019 state budget given first reading, opposition criticizes

Parliament adopt the draft state budget law for 2019 after the first reading on November 23. The draft budget provides the revenues of the national public budget will be by 9.4% higher than this year, while the expenditure by 9.7%. The deficit will be 2.7% of the GDP, as opposed to 2.6% this year. The opposition MPs criticized the bill, saying it is electoral in character, IPN reports.

According to Minister of Finance Octavian Armașu, the draft state budget is based on the economic development forecast and the objectives of the fiscal and customs policy for 2019. The macroeconomic forecast envisions that the Gross Domestic Product will rise by 4% in real terms compared with 2018.

The state budget revenues in 2019 will be 42.125,5 billion lei, an increase of 14.1% on this year. 88.6% of the revenues will come from taxes and duties, up 12.6%. The grants for budget support and for projects financed with foreign funds were projected at 1.960,2 billion lei. The expenditure in 2019 `will be 47.664,2 billion lei, up 13.5% on this year.

In his speech, Liberal MP Valerian Bejan said many of the stipulated allocations will remain on paper only and uncontrolled inflation will be thus generated. The national currency will depreciate.

Communist MP Oleg Reidman stated the Communist group each year urges the colleagues to leave the political affiliation aside when debating the budget so that the parliamentary position is a step forward. The draft budget should be rejected as it evidently electoral in character.

Socialist MP Vladimir Golovatiuc noted the draft budget was to be presented until the summer vacation, but they acted in a different way given the electoral context. The elections were also maximally postponed so that the people felt the so-called care of the state namely before the elections.

Liberal-Democratic MP Grigore Gobzac said the envisioned pay raises are lower than those promised by the government. Funds for such raises weren’t earmarked.

Liberal MP Lilian Carp noted the draft state budget for 2019 is a document with incomes and costs and nothing more. It does not envision development or provisions that would allow Moldova to become free from grants and foreign loans.

Democratic MP Corneliu Dudnic said the opposition should not try and frighten society with its statements as the reality is different. As next year is an electoral year, the approval of the 2019 budget in November is especially important for society. The budget envisions higher allowances for a category of pensioners and higher salaries for budget-funded employees, sources for rehabilitating roads and building the Chisinau Arena, etc.

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