BUSINESS

Budget deficit reaches RON 5 bln at end of April

According to the Finance Ministry data published on Friday, the budget had a deficit of RON 5 bln (0.83 per cent of GDP) at the end of the January-April period, up from RON 4.4 bln (0.75 per cent of GDP) at the end of the same period last year, a press communiqué informs. Budget revenues totaled RON 62 bln and were 7.4 per cent higher than last year in nominal terms and 0.3 per cent higher as a share of GDP. Fiscal revenues grew by 10.1 per cent in nominal terms, hikes being registered in the case of revenues from VAT (+5.8 per cent), excises (+5 per cent), income tax (+17.5 per cent). Through its agreement with the IMF the government committed itself to bring the budget deficit to 2.2 per cent of GDP this year, down from 4.3 per cent in 2011. Social contributions totaled RON 17 bln, up by 7.3 per cent year-on-year. At the level of local administrations hikes were registered in the case of revenues from property taxes (+5.3 per cent) and of non-fiscal revenues (+19.1 per cent). The sums reimbursed by the EU grew by 30.2 per cent compared to the same period last year. Budget expenditures totaled RON 67.3 bln, growing by 7.9 per cent in nominal terms and by 0.3 per cent as a share of GDP. The growth was mainly registered in the case of projects financed from EU funds (+65.8 per cent), interest (+44 per cent), capital expenditures (+31.4 per cent). Expenditures from the national health fund also grew (+6.6 per cent) as a consequence of payments for medical services and pharmaceutical drugs, as well as for local administrations (+17.3 per cent), as a consequence of the fact that some hospitals were turned into nursing homes for the elderly. According to the Finance Ministry, expenditures on personnel grew by 0.9 per cent year-on-year since the 15 per cent salary hike and the social insurance contributions that employers from the defence, public order and national security sectors have to pay were not included in January 2011, the hiked salaries and contributions starting to be paid in February 2011.Investment expenditures that include capital expenditures as well as the expenditures on development programmes financed from internal and external sources totaled RON 9.7 bln, up by 36.7 per cent in nominal terms compared to the same period last year.In a press statement, Liviu Voinea, secretary of state within the Finance Ministry, pointed out that the Fiscal Code will be improved and the fiscal measures that the government will take will not affect this year’s budget.

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