Gov’t approves 2nd budget revision this year; deficit stays at 1.86pct of GDP. “I haven’t cut a single penny from the Presidential Administration to avoid discussion”, says PM Ponta

The Romanian Government approved on Friday an urgent order on the second budget revision of the year, a positive one, that has allotted all the funds requested by the state institutions, Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced.

“A new positive budget revision. All the public institutions that have requested money have got it, because we have it, we keep recording budgetary surplus. If all the assigned amounts are spent, we will stay in the 1.86 percent target agreed with the international financial institutions and set in the state budget”, Ponta explained, according to Agerpres.

The prime minister explained that 360 million lei was earmarked to the health sector, for increasing the salaries in the entire health system by 25 percent as well as for the medicines and national health programmes.

The Energy Ministry got 80 million lei for the payment of the minimal assistance and 12 million lei for expropriations.

Agriculture was earmarked 750 million lei, with 300 million lei of it being aid for the drought-hit farmers, 100 million lei for diesel fuel and 370 million lei was assigned to co-financing the projects on EU funds. “We still have 350 million lei in the reserve fund for the drought-hit farmers, but we must wait for the European Commission’s approval in this respect”, Ponta underscored.

For the advance payment of the enforcement titles for 2015 and 2016, the Government allotted 1.2 billion lei, while the Romanian Railways Company CFR gets 120 million lei.

The local authorities receive one billion lei to balance the local budgets and 500 million lei for county and rural roads.

The Development Ministry was earmarked one billion lei for the National Local Development Programme.

The Treasury cap is raised by 700 million lei, while education gets 270 million lei to fund the higher education and pay scholarships.

The National Defence Ministry is assigned an extra 500 million lei, the Ministry of Internal Affairs 270 million lei, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) 140 million lei, the Special Communications Service (STS) 65 million lei, the Foreign Affairs Ministry 130 million lei, the Religious Affairs 50 million lei, the European Union Funds Ministry 750 million lei and the Justice Ministry 250 million lei.

“Presidential Administration has received the amount requested at the budgetary revision”

PM Victor Ponta announced on Friday that the Presidential Administration has received the amount requested at the budgetary revision, adding that he has not cut anything from it, so as to avoid discussions on the conflict between the Cotroceni Presidential and Victoria Governmental Palaces.

“They receive as much as they requested. I do not know how much they requested. I know I told Mr. Minister [Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici] to give them what they requested. (…) I did not cut a single penny so that there won’t be again discussions about the conflict between the palaces and other such things. We have such a great relationship that it would be a shame, why cut anything?” Ponta told a press conference at the Victoria Palace.

According to the finance minister, the Presidential Administration received 1.5 million lei extra and the two Chambers of Parliament around 3.5 million lei following the budget revision.

Additionally, the prime minister revealed that the Government’s Reserve Fund stands at 900 million lei.

“In principle, half of it is earmarked for agriculture. If Mr Constantin [Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin] receives the consent of the European Commission [for paying damages to those affected by drought]. (…) We are facing problems due to the refugees, and the winter is coming… If it won’t be spent, it means we will have a much smaller deficit,” Ponta explained.

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