President Basescu promulgates 2014 national budget


The president okayed the budget law after reaching a compromise with the PM regarding the delay of extra-tax on fuel.

Last night, President Traian Basescu announced he has promulgated the state budget after the Government agreed to postpone the gasoline and Diesel fuel excise tax by three months. “Suspending the tax implementation by three months means RON 600 million less for the state budget. It’s a very small amount compared to the budget surplus, which can be corrected by adjusting various areas of the budget in which too much money has been allocated, whether we are referring to money for Mr. Dragnea’s Ministry or the external debt service. There are many resources at our disposal to prevent the introduction of this barbaric tax,” Basescu told a press conference at Cotroceni. The Head of State said his objective was not to create conflict, but “correct an error.”
President Traian Basescu said further that he takes it upon himself to explain why raising the fuel excise tax was an error at discussions with IMF scheduled to take place in January. “Both the IMF and the European Commission were wrong to impose an overbearing additional tax on gasoline and Diesel fuel consumption. When the IMF and EC delegations arrive, I will take personal responsibility for postponing this tax,” the President emphasized. “I’m convinced the tax can be completely avoided. This will be my objective during discussions with the IMF and EC. I will not validate any letter to the IMF Board that involves increasing the excise tax. (…) I have the conviction that these three months will be prolonged to eternity,” he added.
In his opinion, the tax would have impacted Romanians with the lowest incomes. “I’m glad the Government has made a wise decision, as it creates precedent for collaboration in 2014. If, in addition, ANAF’s capacity to diminish tax evasion is consolidated, I am convinced we will take the first steps toward lowering CAS in mid-2014.

What matters is having the will,” Basescu said, adding that the budget no longer has to be perceived “as an instrument that traditionally serves the interests of local tycoons.” He went on to accuse all the parties and administrations of devising the budget with the single purpose of “offering support in an election year.” After the meeting held with Basescu at the Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday, premier Victor Ponta pointed out this is a “political compromise” that has been discussed both within the coalition and with President Basescu. “A little compromise in order to have a budget and pay the pensions, the doctors and give the green light to subsidies as of January 1. All in all, I believe the sacrifice is worth it and it would be great if only one could prove we didn’t need the excise money. I would be very happy if things turn out this way,” Mediafax quoted Ponta as saying. After the Parliament approved the budget draft law, President Basescu announced that he had no intention to promulgate the budget if the fuel excise tax is hiked. PM Ponta subsequently pointed out that he holds negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission to postpone the increase of the excise tax on diesel, used by goods transport operators, by 3 months and increase only the gasoline excise tax.

 

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