Budget Update Bill to Be Debated in Parliament Committee

Business » FINANCE | November 13, 2014, Thursday // 07:54| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Budget Update Bill to Be Debated in Parliament Committee

A bill to overhaul the 2014 budget will be put forward for discussion in the provisional Budget and Finance Committee of BUlgaria's Parliament.

The draft legislation was submitted to the National Assembly after the government adopted its text on Tuesday.

It envisages an increased budget deficit of BGN 2.992 B (3.7 percent of GDP) and a cap of this year's debt worth BGN 4.5 B.

Some BGN 2.9 B will be earmarked for liquidity support, with BGN 2 B to be poured into the Deposits Insurance Fund (DIF).

Another BGN 100 M will be set aside for the cash-strapped National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK). The healthcare fund's expenditure was boosted by more than BGN 200 M in July in an emergency session in Parliament, hours before the legislature was dissolved.

The overhaul was initially planned by the former elected government, but lawmakers failed to pass it and the interim government that was in office until last week took up the preparation of a new bill.

But the new ruling axis pulled it out to revise certain parts to the text.

Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov warned on Tuesday that Bulgaria would be facing an excessive deficit procedure from the European Commission if the bill is approved, but added boosting both the deficit and the debt was crucial.

The main opposition party BSP however says its legislative proposal outlines a pattern to deal with urgent issues without exceeding the three-percent deficit limit.

At the same time the EU Commission is able to make exceptions and refrain from any measures against a certain country with an excessive deficit if overspending is caused by an "emergency" situation and public finance could be swiftly returned on an even keel.

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Tags: budget, GERB, BSP, excessive deficit procedure, Vladislav Goranov, liquidity support, NZOK
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