Budget committee discusses with IMF delegation budget deficit level, economic growth structure


A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met on Tuesday with the members of the Committee for budget, finance and banks of the Deputies’ Chamber, for the annual assessment of the Romanian economy, based on Article 4th of the Statute of the international financial institution.

Currently, Romania has no financing agreement in place with the IMF, but this institution assesses the Romanian economy status on an annual basis, based on consultations under Article 4th.

“The budget deficit level and economic growth structure were among the topics discussed by the members of the Committee for budget with the IMF delegation”, according to the head of this Committee, Marius-Constantin Budai.

“We had interesting discussions. They told us about their concerns. They also congratulated us for our economic growth. They asked us for more data and we did make these available for them, with figures, numbers, separate branches. We used the figures published by the National Bank of Romania (BNR), the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the European Commission and also Eurostat. They were pleased with how the discussion ended, if I sensed that correctly, for they saw that many concerns raised by our colleagues from the opposition did not turn into figures. They also said at the end of the discussion that we will have another discussion at the end of their mission, after they meet with all decision making factors in Romania,” said Budai, after his meeting with the IMF.

According to him, the IMF delegation wanted to know if the economic growth was sustainable and also if it was based on consumption. Another question was related to inflation.

On the other hand, Marius-Constantin Budai stated that the IMF delegation was presented three initiatives: the development bank, the public procurement law and the public-private partnership law.

“We presented the modifications that we want to bring to the public procurement law. We want to use the German model when it comes to the public procurement law and, I say this for the first time, we also discussed about adjusting the Slovakian model of public-private partnership law to the Romanian realities. These are laws that were already implemented in other states and we will need the European Commission’s approval and then we will be able to shorten the steps in public procurement area,” said the abovementioned source.

The opposition MPs underscored that the IMF also drew attention on the economic growth structure.

“There were presented all kinds of color graphics, as they used to present during the electoral campaign, for this method of lying is not new, they used it again and again, they used it to tell the representatives of the International Monetary Fund that investments grew in 2017 against 2016, like they were talking with some people who knew nothing about happens in an economy and by totally ignoring the figures, just like that, although we are talking about public figures right now. In 2016, the GDP investment percentage was 3.7 per cent and in 2017 3.2 per cent. Somewhere close to 3 billion euros less in 2017 compared with 2016. More than that, precisely in the day when the National Institute of Statistics was offering the new figures related to the inflation level, PSD (governing Social Democratic Party) told the IMF how good our inflation level was and how we are above the European average, although in 2017 inflation grew from almost zero, in the beginning of the year, up to 3.2 per cent in late 2017. We saw a smile on the faces of the Fund’s representatives when they saw how the situation in Romania was presented, although they are polite people, who don’t show too much of an expression,” underscored Dan Vilceanu, a PNL (National Liberal Party, in the opposition) member.

In his turn, Claudiu Nasui, a member of the USR (Save Romania Union), stated that the IMF delegation drew attention on the fact that we have economic growth based on consumption, which is not sustainable and which arrived with an the explosion of the budget and the structural deficit.