published: 18.09.2013, 19:11 | updated: 18.09.2013 19:12:58
Prague - Finance Minister Jan Fischer submitted the Czech 2014 budget bill with a deficit of 112 billion crowns to the cabinet, he told journalists, adding that the gap limit of 3-percent of GDP will not be crossed.
Originally, a 110-billion-crown deficit was planned.
"We´ll observe the Maastricht [criterion], the deficit will stay narrowly below 3 percent of GDP," Fischer said.
The cabinet will vote on the draft budget next week, following the Friday meeting of the Tripartite, a body comprising representatives of the government, unions and employers, and aimed to help maintain social peace.
The caretaker cabinet of Jiri Rusnok is leading the country to the early general election due in late October.
Fischer said the draft 2014 budget reckons with the economy growing by 1.3 percent next year, compared with the previous original expectation of 0.8 percent growth.
The new prognosis implies additional four to five billion crowns in state revenues next year, Fischer said.
The 2014 budget bill also reckons with the state increasing the health insurance fees it pays for selected groups of people, such as students, pensioners and the unemployed, by a total of 4.7 billion crowns, one billion more than originally planned, without the increase affecting the budget deficit.
Most of the sum will be gained from the money originally designed to finance various services. A certain sum will be saved by the state owing to the expected decrease in the prices of energy.
Further money will be provided by the Foreign Ministry that today proposed to raise the revenues from the visa granting procedure by 100 million crowns, a half of which, however, would go back to the ministry.
The revenues from the state companies are estimated at 7.3 billion next year, which is more favourable than the original outlook.
The draft budget also reckons with a 2-percent pay increase in the public administration sector, and with an additional 400 million crowns for the Interior Ministry to enable it to hire more police.
The cabinet interrupted its debate on a possible increase in the budget of the State Transport Infrastructure Fund and on the introduction of advantageous loans to be extended by the State Fund for Housing Development.
The cabinet is bound to submit the budget bill to the Chamber of Deputies by the end of September. However, the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved now and the new one will emerge from the October 25-26 election.
The new Chamber, as well as the new cabinet to arise from the polls, may still change the budget.
The new Chamber of Deputies will discuss the budget bill on November 26 at the earliest, when its first session will take place.
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