Government Approves Three 2019 Budget Bills at Extraordinary Meeting
107 POLITICS - GOVERNMENT - MEETING - DRAFT BUDGETS Ampl
Three 2019 Budget Bills
at Extraordinary Meeting
Sofia, October 28 (BTA) - At an extraordinary meeting here on Sunday, the Council of Ministers approved the 2019 State Budget Bill with a Draft Updated Medium-Term Budget Forecast for 2019-2021, the 2019 Public Social Insurance Bill, and the 2019 National Health Insurance Fund Budget Bill, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov told a briefing after the meeting. In his words, the Consolidated Fiscal Programme will be tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The Council of Ministers also approved a Government Debt Management Strategy for 2019-2021, as well as standards for State-delegated activities with natural and value indicators in 2019, the Government Information Service reported.
Opening the extraordinary meeting, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said that the 2019 state budget is one of the most ambitious budgets made since the start of Bulgaria's transition period.
In his words, the state budget for 2019 was drafted to meet the pre-election promises and governance programme of GERB and the United Patriots. Upon the Government's formation, a commitment was made to reach a GDP of 110 billion leva by the end of the Government's four-year tenure in 2021, he recalled, adding that as early as this year the estimates have shown that the GDP will be 116 billion leva in 2019 and 133 billion leva by 2021. He went on to say that the unemployment rate is 4.8 per cent, the external debt is the third lowest in the EU - 22.5 per cent of GDP this year and 17.7 per cent by 2021, and the minimum wage is being increased on schedule to reach 650 leva in 2021.
According to Borissov, thanks to the better collectability and work towards fighting contraband and stopping VAT draining, the revenues are by nearly 5 billion leva more, which is why in next year's state budget there is more money for all sectors.
The PM went on to say that Bulgaria also meets its commitments to NATO, because the expenditures for defence will reach 2 per cent of GDP by 2024. Next year these will be 1.58 per cent of GDP, he specified.
In Borissov's words, the State has never been in a better condition that it is now.