Bulgaria's FinMin Vows No Revision of 2014 Budget
Bulgarian Finance Minister Petar Chobanov has suggested that there will be no need for a revision of Budget 2014 "amid normal circumstances."
Speaking after a Wednesday government sitting, Chobanov explained that he saw no reasons for believing that such a measure would be necessary.
"Preliminary results for January show that we achieved a higher revenue collection rate compared to January 2013 and the deficit in January 2014 will be below the rate in January 2013," he announced.
Bulgaria's Finance Minister, as cited by the BGNES news agency, made clear that overall revenue underperformance stood at less than BGN 200 M and assured that there was no mistake about it.
"Underperformance in tax revenues is affected by several things. First of all, sums reimbursed for wrongfully issued penalty notices by the tax administration amounted to BGN 150 M in 2013, and these are penalty notices issued in preceding years. Another factor which has an impact on the underperformance in tax revenues is the amount of BGN 90 M in interests on taxes unpaid by the respective deadline, which was accounted for as tax revenues by 2012, but in 2013 was reported as non-tax revenues," he explained.
Chobanov vowed to send a letter to the Director of the National Revenue Agency (NRA) by the end of the day to ask him to streamline the central administration by 20% and to use the human resources made available after the optimization to boost the control functions of the Agency.
"As regards the implementation of Budget 2013, we have three main indicators by which we can judge whether it was successful or not. The first is the budget deficit. The deficit target was 2%, we achieved a rate of 1.8%, or BGN 150 M less, despite the apocalyptic forecasts which started coming in right after the budget update that a second revision would be necessary, which turned out not to be the case. Now, in the first month of 2014, we are again speaking of a budget update," he stated.
"The next indicator is the fiscal reserve. The minimum is BGN 4.5 B and by end-2013 the fiscal reserve amounted to BGN 4.7 B. The third indicator is external debt, which is to amount to no more than BGN 14.6 B, and by the end of 2013 it stood at BGN 14.1 B, or BGN 500 M below the limit," Chobanov emphasized.