Caretaker Finance Minister Raises Alarm: There’s Too Little Money in Bulgaria’s State Treasury

Business » FINANCE | May 31, 2021, Monday // 13:29
Bulgaria: Caretaker Finance Minister Raises Alarm: There’s Too Little Money in Bulgaria’s State Treasury

We have a tad over BGN 8 billion in the state treasury, but 6 of them we cannot touch. We actually have a little over BGN 2 billion. We're implementing the budget as it was planned. There was a bit of a delay in collecting excise duty, but we caught up, said caretaker Finance Minister Assen Vassilev on BTV.

When there are unforeseen expenditures, and there were such expenditures before May, they are made at the expense of other costs. Another is the question of what they are. In my opinion, we will be able to stay within the deficit. A budget update needs to be made. Colleagues at NRA and customs made an analysis. Audits have been launched in companies with large financial resources from the state. On this basis, we expect revenues to the treasury to rise by the end of the year.

A budget update was needed, and I said that the first day I assumed office. Mr. Borissov has been in charge for a long time. Imagine if we had budget revenue. We can't spend it without parliament. We can't increase costs. In order to continue support for pensioners, we had to draw money from ministries.

BGN 237 million was spent under the measures 40/60 payroll support measure, BGN 170 million went to the Ministry of Health. This was budgeted until March. There is money allocated for BNT – BGN 20 million. BGN 22 million was given to the Fund of Funds. We'll see what's going on out there. The Fund is at a loss. The BDB is also in the red. That's embarrassing. 

Rumen Spetsov (the NRA's head) was the agency‘s contact man with Europol. How one can accumulate debts of 40-50-60 million? We all know that if you don't pay your debts for a month, the NRA starts asking for their money. All businesses are in crisis because of the pandemic, but most pay their debts to the NRA.

There are companies with millions in cash. Cash payments should to be limited to BGN 10,000. They have to make a lot of cash payments. This cash has to come from somewhere. I don't believe that those who buy votes will withdraw from their personal accounts with the bank. We are trying to reorient the methodology used in NRA and customs agency.

We want this methodology to be reoriented towards large companies that take large public procurement contracts, for example. Let's go where there are potential big budget leaks instead of chasing the hairdresser‘s shops. It's about a lot more money.

It is very worrying that systemic leaks are visible at all levels and in all systems. It was either the rules or the instructions to blame. The state imitates activity – seeking money from hairdressers, but not big companies. It's the same in the energy sector. There's huge debt there.


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Tags: Bulgaria, finance minister, budget, deficit, expenditures

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