The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate have convened on Monday in a joint session to debate the draft laws on the state budget and the state social insurance budget for 2021, with the final vote expected to be cast on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the parliamentary finance and budget committees issued a favourable report on the two bills as submitted by the government. No amendments were adopted.
Under the national budget bill, government’s revenues are projected to the tune of 173.700 billion lei, and outlays to the tune of 326.407 billion lei in committed appropriations and budget appropriations to the tune of 261.050 billion lei, with a deficit of 87.349 billion lei.
In aggregate terms, the cash deficit is estimated at 7.16% of the Gross Domestic Product in 2021, for revenues 32.67% of GDP, or 364.907 billion lei, and outlays of 39.84 % of GDP, or 444.907 billion lei.
The draft budget is built on an estimated economic growth of 4.31% in 2021.
According to the draft social security budget, the revenues of the state pension system are set at 90.08 billion lei.
The contributions to the insurance system for occupational accident diseases are set at 283.325 million lei, while expenses are set at 140.395 million lei, giving a surplus of 142.93 million lei.
When building the social security and unemployment benefit budget the for the year 2021, the following were taken into account: a pension computation coefficient of 1,442 lei, as increased by 14% on September 1, 2020; an increase in the average gross wage in 2021 to 5,380 lei, from 5,150 lei estimated for 2020 and 4,853 lei achieved in 2019; an increase in the number of registered unemployed, expected to reach 310,000 people at the end of 2021, from 305,000 people at the end of 2020, and a rise in the reported unemployment rate to 3.6% at the end of 2021 as against 3.5% at the end of 2020, according to a substantiation note of the bill.
PM Citu: This budget is the most important achievement since we started this governing
Prime Minister Florin Citu on Monday told Parliament’s plenary meeting that the draft budget for 2021 is “the most important” achievement, noting that reform kicks off in the state’s “corners” and stops the “PSD [the Social Democratic Party] theft”.
“Dear colleagues of the coalition, colleagues of the PNL [the National Liberal party], I’m telling you, without any false modesty, that this budget is the most important achievement since we started this governing. (…) It is the first budget of this centre-right government’s four-year mandate and I will make sure, with my colleagues, that it will be a successful governing and I will fight, first and foremost, for a better life for all Romanians. We will only succeed if we stay united and focus on exactly those goals that have brought us together – reform and investment,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that he addressed the 2021 state budget with “great sense of accountability.”
“The budget has two defining elements. We start reforming from the corners of the state, we stop 30 years of PSD theft from the budget. It represents a firm declaration that Romania’s path is in Europe,” Citu asserted.
The prime minister’s speech was interrupted by PSD representatives, who chanted “Allowances!”
“This budget is my firm statement for Romanians, that this year, for the first time, we will cut all the ways in which money is stolen from the state budget. It is my promise for Romanians and it is a firm statement. This is the worst news for you, at the PSD, the fact that you can no longer steal from the budget, it was your only source to enrich yourself illegally. From the reactions I can clearly see that you have not read the budget and Romanians must know that the PSD is crying out both in Parliament and on TV not because they don’t agree with the budget, as they haven’t read it and they don’t understand it, but they are clamoring because they can’t steal anymore. It’s a call of despair. (…) They are just interested in sponging off the budget and they realize that they cannot do such a thing anymore for the next four years,” Citu stressed.
He conveyed to the PSD representatives who chanted “Allowances”: “You will receive an allowance, but you have to enroll in the school. Scholarship, allowances are related to the school,” the prime minister replied.
PNL’s Orban: With exemplary mobilization we’ll be able to pass the budget as planned
In the debates in Parliament’s joint plenary sitting today, the National Liberal Party (PNL) will endorse the national budget as passed by the government and the specialist committees, PNL national leader Ludovic Orban said on Monday, adding that he is convinced that the bill will pass as planned.
“We have established the strategy for the budget. (…) In the debates in Parliament’s joint plenary sitting today we will endorse the bill on the national budget and the bill on the social security budget as passed by the Government and as it came out from the debate of the specialist committees in accordance with the joint report prepared by the finance and budget committees. We are supporting this budget. (…) We have called for the mobilisation of all lawmakers from the three coalition member parties and also from the minority parliamentary group in the Chamber of Deputies. We are counting on a massive presence. We have also told MP ministers to attend the parliamentary debates. I am convinced that, with an exemplary mobilisation, we will be able to pass the budget as planned,” said Orban, according to Agerpres.
He added that the budget is based on several objectives – economic recovery, increased investment, support for companies and employees.
“We also expect that the allocation of grants for both working capital and investment will be on the right track, so that the procedures for allocating these resources set aside by the government from European funds and geared toward supporting companies, the area most affected by the [ongoing COVID-19] pandemic, may be completed. The government aims to absorb European funds as a basis for supporting investment projects and a basis for development. It is a budget that allocates important resources for areas such as education, public health, a budget that supports the effort to fight the pandemic and the entire effort deployed by the team that leads the vaccination process,” said Orban.
The PNL leader added that his proposal is for attendance of the debates in the plenary sitting to take place in person, motivating that there is no possibility to organise them differently.
“We have two cases of people who for medical reasons may not be able to be present,” he said, according to Agerpres.