Bulgarian Cabinet Approves 2011 Draft Budget Framework

Bulgarian Cabinet Approves 2011 Draft Budget Framework

The 2011 draft budget framework, prepared by the Finance Ministry, was discussed and approved Tuesday by the Council of Ministers.

The document now must be coordinated with the Ministries and the Agencies and then submitted with the Parliament. Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, made the commitment to achieve it by mid-September.

In budget 2011, financing is going up the most in the social assistance, defense and health care sectors, according to the draft.

The cabinet plans to collect in 2011 BGN 25.8 B in revenues, which is BGN 1.3 B more than the 2010 updated budget. In the expenditure side of the balance sheet there is a planned reduction of BGN 12 M - down to BGN 27.9 B. If executed, this will lead to a lower budget deficit for 2011 - BGN 1.9 B compared to BGN 3.3 B in 2010.

In the approved Tuesday "expense ceilings" those of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy are up by 19% to BGN 951 M, those of the Defense Ministry are up by 11% to BGN 990 M, and those of the Health Ministry are up 5% to BGN 570 M.

The plan is to increase the expenditures of the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) by 4% to BGN 2 B.

The cabinet further approved the budget forecast for 2011-2013 and the draft of the State budget share for the Bulgarian National TV and Radio, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the State colleges and the universities, including military ones.

Taxes, salaries and wages would not be increased of lowered in 2011-2013, while retirement pensions would be maintained at current levels until 2012 and will be revised in 2013.

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