The Public Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu said on Friday during a conference hosted by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) that, although there has been talk of raising pensions and wages in 2012, the best option was maintaining them at the 2011 level and allotting larger funds to investments, Mediafax reports. The minister further stated that the 2012 budget should be drawn up cautiously in the present international context and Romania should be wary of straying in the trap of a deficit above 3 pc. “We have to analyse the deficit estimate for 2012,” Ialomitianu added. According to the latter, whereas, up to now, Romania could take medium-term low-interest loans, current costs are higher. The Government committed in the agreement with the IMF and the European Union to a budget deficit-target below 3 pc for next year, which is a condition for closing the excessive deficit procedure initiated by EC against Romania in 2009. This year, the deficit should be maintained at a maximum 4.4 pc of GDP. Ialomitianu further argued that government policies should take into consideration signals from the international markets and, in this context, called for tax exemptions and boosted investment to assist the business community.