USL has approved the main lines of the budget for 2013 and a special meeting of the cabinet will be called today in view of approving the package of fiscal measures. To this regard, Premier Victor Ponta announced yesterday that he agreed with deputy PM and Finance minister Daniel Chitoiu that each minister of the Cabinet will go in Parliament and support the draft budget of the respective ministry, instead of sending state secretaries or directors, as it was usual in the past. According to the same source, the state budget for 2013 should be in Parliament Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Also today, the premier will have a formal meeting with the IMF delegation, after delegation chief Erik de Vrijer met yesterday morning the delegate minister for Budget, Liviu Voinea, to discuss the final form of the draft state budget for 2013.
Higher excise duties starting April 1stIn his turn, deputy PM and Finance minister Daniel Chitoiu presented the package of fiscal measures during the USL meeting. According to Chitoiu, this package largely consists of an adjustment of taxation in the sense of simplifying the taxes for SMEs and micro-enterprises with a turnover under EUR 65,000. He explained that an additional tax will be enforced for the incomes achieved from the liberalisation of the price of natural gas sold to both household and non-household users, a measure that targets gas producing companies. Chitoiu explained that the taxation basis of the incomes obtained from agriculture in all sectors – vegetal, animal and fruit trees – was broadened and simplified in order to create a competition-driven environment meant to eliminate the tax evasion in agriculture. The deputy PM added that the calendar of increasing excise duties will be rescheduled from July 1st to April 1st. According to the same source, the government will enforce an additional tax of 0.5 pc of the turnover made from the exploitation of natural resources, in order to secure money for co-financing the projects with European funding. “There are also measures for the correction of deductions to the calculation of the profit tax in the Fiscal Code, we will give them after we make all calculations,” Chitoiu mentioned. He explained that these fiscal measures will be discussed in the Social Dialogue Commission by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as in the CES.The state budget for 2013 will have a deficit of RON 18.176 bln, with projected incomes of RON 98.182 bln and expenses of RON 116.36 bln, as provided by the draft budget for 2013 posted on the site of the Ministry of Public Finance (MFP). Out of the VAT incomes, RON 14.638 bln will be allocated to local budgets, including RON 2.125 bln in view of financing the decentralised spending of communes, towns, municipalities, sectors and Bucharest, RON 368.3 M to finance the expenses with county and communal roads, which will be split between administrative-territorial units depending on the length and technical state of these roads, through decisions issued by county councils, after consulting mayors, and RON 1.754 bln for balancing local budgets. In 2013, the main credit takers of local budgets will finance with priority those ongoing or new investments/ activities that pertain to the projects financed from non-refundable external loans.
Minimum wage to be increased in two stages
The minimum gross wage in economy will increase this year in two stages, by RON 50 starting February 1st, thus reaching RON 750, and then to RON 800 in July, official sources announced. The decision was made by the government after consultations with the International Monetary Fund. At the beginning of January, PM Victor Ponta informed that during talks with the IMF on the state budget for this year he would request the increase of the minimum wage from RON 700 to RON 800 immediately after the state budget is approved.