Bulgaria Reports BGN 4.7 B Fiscal Reserve

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Bulgaria Reports BGN 4.7 B Fiscal Reserve: Bulgaria Reports BGN 4.7 B Fiscal Reserve Bulgaria's Finance Ministry has released December 2013 data on consolidated budget implementation. File photo

Bulgaria's fiscal reserve as of December 31, 2013 amounted to BGN 4.7 B.

The data was reported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance.

The budget balance under the Consolidated Fiscal Program (CFP) on a cash basis for 2013 was negative, amounting to BGN 1,448.4 M (1.8 % of forecast GDP). In comparison, the planned in the 2013 State Budget Law deficit on a consolidated basis was 2% of GDP. The budget balance under the CFP was formed by a deficit under the national budget of BGN 891.6 M and a deficit under EU funds of BGN 556.8 M.

The CFP implementation for 2013 shows that the country's fiscal position is stable - the figures reported for the deficit and the government debt are lower than the ones planned in the State Budget Law, while the fiscal reserve level is higher than the one provided in the law, the Finance Ministry says.

It further notes that in parallel with maintaining fiscal stability, the Government has begun to implement its priority policies for fostering growth and ensuring a level playing field for the state and the businesses. Indicative thereof is bringing the amount of non-refunded VAT at the end of year 2013 to the lowest level for the past 7 years. During the second half of the year part of the arrears of the central government as of end of June 2013were also paid. Efforts are being made to improve the communication and facilitate the work of the businesses with the revenue administrations, and to lower the administrative burden. The fiscal effects of these measures are already noticeable - during the last months revenues from a number of taxes and social security contributions are gradually improving.

Along with improving business environment, other priorities in expenditure policies have included the social responsibilities of the state and the gap in the financing of the health sector. In order to support the most vulnerable groups (including payment of a one-off Christmas allowance for the pensioners with the lowest pensions) and to close the financing gap in the health sector a considerable additional financial resource was provided totaling around BGN 125 M without worsening the budget balance under the CFP.

Consolidated revenues and grants under CFP for 2013 stood at BGN 28,981.4 M or 36.7% of forecast GDP compared to 35.4% for 2012. Compared to 2012, CFP proceeds and grants reported a nominal growth by 5.5% (BGN 1,511.9 M).

For 2013 tax proceeds, including revenues from social security contributions, totaled BGN 22,370.3 M, which was 97.9% of what was planned.

Revenues from direct taxes amounted to BGN 3,901.5 M for 2013, or 96.3% of the planned for the year. Revenues from indirect taxes amounted to BGN 11,590.7 M or 97.3% of annual plans for 2013 of which VAT revenues amounted to BGN 7,366.5 M; excise duty revenues - to BGN 4,055.8 M; customs duty revenues - to BGN 146.2 M and insurance premium tax - to BGN 22.3 M. Proceeds from other taxes, including property taxes and other taxes under the Corporate Income Tax Law, amounted to BGN 817.9 M, or 101.0% of what was planned for 2013. Revenues from social security and health insurance contributions were BGN 6,060.2 M at the end of December, or 99.8% of those planned for the year.

Non-tax revenues amounted to BGN 3,966.1 M, or 104.5% of those planned for the year. The proceeds from state charges, fines, sanctions and default interest, concession fees, etc. also performed well.

CFP grant proceeds as of 31.12.2013 amounted to BGN 2,645.0 M (70.7% of the plans).

The expenditures under the consolidated budget, including the contribution of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU budget, amounted to BGN 30,429.8 M, which was 95.2% of annual plans. In structural terms, social and health insurance payments, capital expenditure, maintenance expenditure, interest expenditure, etc., reported a growth.

The part of Bulgaria's contribution to the EU budget, as paid for 2013 from the central budget, amounted to BGN 934.1 M, which complies with Council Regulation 1150/2000 of 22 May 2000 implementing Decision 94/728/EC, Euratom on the system of the Communities' own resources.

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