The project could be amended at the government session.
Liviu Voinea, Minister Delegate for the Budget, explained on Realitatea TV that the budget adjustment situation is not bad. “We are still on target, but revenues did not reach the expected level,” Liviu Voinea said. He went on to say the restructuring process at ANAF was one reason why revenue levels were not as expected. “We don’t give out money for pretty eyes. All the money spent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice was for personnel. Personnel expenses generated an increase in the budget of several institutions,” he stated. The minister delegate also said “a hole in the budget” was caused by payments for judges’ decisions, “when wages were cut by 25 percent.”
“A negative budget adjustment was inevitable, given our previous warning that revenue estimates were somewhat unrealistic,” Ionut Dumitru, chairman of the Fiscal Council, stated Tuesday. “This, combined with restructuring activities at ANAF, led to major system dysfunctions,” he continued, according to ziarelive.ro.
In turn, when asked about cuts in the Presidency budget, President Traian Basescu stated that following budget adjustments he agreed to cut back the official visits’ budget and consequently gave up his visit to the United States of America, which would have cost RON 2.3 million, Mediafax notes. On the other hand, Daniel Buda, chairman of PSD Cluj, accused Prime Minister Victor Ponta for his “politically infantile” behavior in making cuts in the Presidency, Constitutional Court and ANI budgets, that is, in institutions “that bother him and are in his way.” Buda also asked for the head of government’s resignation. Eugen Nicolaescu, Health Minister, did not escape the journalists’ questions. He said recent discussions about budget adjustment “did not simply drop from the sky,” but were a result of assessments that were performed. Nonetheless, the project could be subject to amendment at the government session. He explained some ministries have money that cannot be used before the end of the year and this is why it was decided to direct those amounts to sectors that could use it.
Budget cuts will apply to the Ministry of Labor (by RON 520.4 million), the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration (RON 315.1 million), the Ministry of Environment (RON 178.1 million, a reduction due to budget performance in the first eight months of the year), the Ministry of Transport (RON 134.3 million, a reduction due to budget performance in the first eight months of the year, primarily for bond 55, ‘Other transfers’ (- RON 54.5 million); in addition, the amount of RON 190.0 million was reserved in 2013 as funding for investment projects in subway thoroughfares), the Ministry of Economy (RON 62.2 million), the Ministry of Health (RON 54.5 million), the Ministry of Communications and Information Society (RN 50.8 million), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (RON 46.9 million), the Ministry of Public Finance (RON 46.5 million), the Ministry of National Defense (RON 33.5 million) and the Ministry of Public Finance, ‘General Activities’ (RON 451.6 million).
RON 104 million will be granted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, RON 99.2 million to the Ministry of Justice, RON 13 million to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RON 12 million to the Chamber of Deputies, and RON 23 million to the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority.
According to Mariana Campeanu, Minister of Labor, the budget adjustment will not impact payments of social services, pensions and wages before the end of the year because necessary amounts have already been allocated. Campeanu explained that all budget adjustment calculations were carried out together with the Ministry of Public Finance, in accordance with the budget performance for nine months. Furthermore, referring to the budget revision, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that the money that was cut from the Ministry of Labor came from sums of the budget for the current year, which have not been used, Agerpres reports. The Prime Minister also added that, when it comes to the other institutions for which the budget revision cut some money, there were sums they had stipulated in the budget for 2013, which they can no longer use in the two months that are still to go till the end of the year.
Councilor to Ponta: implementation of cutbacks in VAT for other foods would be welcome
Applying a lowered VAT to certain food products such as meat, in a way similar to the 9 percent VAT model implemented for bread prices, would be the best fiscal relaxation measure, but it is also a difficult one to implement, Ioana Petrescu, Councilor to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, stated. In turn, Dan Manolescu, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Finance, explained the VAT will only be lowered for other products if it is found that the VAT cutback for bread did not, in fact, lead to smaller revenues.