site.btaUPDATED Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media Does Not Approve 2024 Budget Bill at First Reading
The Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media did not approve the 2024 State Budget Bill at first reading. At the Committee’s meeting on Thursday, five MPs voted in favour, six voted against and one abstained.
The Culture Ministry 2024 draft budget envisages expenses in the amount of BGN 403,350,500, and these funds do not include the capital expenses for 2023, amounting to BGN 21,867,500, said the Minister of Culture. He pointed out that the department's budget increase is about 19% compared to 2023.
Culture Minister Krastyu Krastev said that requests, which were described in great detail with the aim to stabilize and make an attempt to structure the Culture Ministry, were not met.
"There is no money for any reforms. The fact is that there is a need for such, and even a rethinking of the overall philosophy of the positioning of culture. When I say "culture", I include both public media and private media. Even education as well," said the head of the parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media, Toma Bikov from GERB-UDF. He pointed out that his goal is to start gradually shrinking the market element in the culture sector.
"At BTA, we are grateful that the Bulgarian State, represented by Parliament, has the understanding that in a world of lies that are free of charge, free on social media and on the Internet, the truth must also try to be free," said Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) Director General Kiril Valchev.
He pointed out that the budget the agency is slated to receive in 2024 is the same as the previous year. With it, BTA will be able to continue providing free access to information, as well additional sources of information through partnerships with agencies from foreign countries.
The meeting of the parliamentary Committee on Culture and Media was also attended by Council for Electronic Media Chair Sonya Momchilova, representatives of Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgarian National Television, and others.