Prime Minister Florin Citu on Tuesday stated that he is not at all nervous about the vote in Parliament on the state budget for 2021, adding that this will be the first time when a clean budget passes through the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
“No, I am not nervous, you saw how the debate took place in the committees. I think that this will be the first time when a budget passes cleanly through the Romanian Parliament,” Citu said at the event “Digitization of Romania, priority ZERO,” organised by DC News Media Group.
According to the head of the Executive, the draft state budget for 2021, as configured, cannot be classified as one of austerity.
“First of all, this word austerity actually means cuts, and I challenge you to find such cuts in the budget. (…) In fact, the budget has a total expenditure increase of almost 5pct, up to 444.9 billion lei, and we cannot talk about austerity when expenditures grow. Also, if we look at investments, the spending increases by almost 8.3 billion lei, so there is no austerity to talk about. There is an increase in personnel expenditures too, in social assistance expenditures, pensions, allowances, etc., the increase is up to almost 10.2 billion lei, so there is no area where we have cuts, that’s why I don’t understand this connection with austerity, apart from the political discourse. In exchange, I expect specialists, professionals, to really look at the budget and see how it is built,” Florin Citu explained, according to Agerpres.
The Parliament plenum adopted on Monday evening the articles of the 2021 State Budget Bill; the annexes thereto, including the one with the budgets of the main budget managing entities – ministries, authorities, agencies and other institutions – are next for debate.
None of the amendments to the 57 articles of the bill was approved, with the articles clearing the plenum in the version penned by the government.
After the adoption of the bill by separate articles, the lawmakers took a half an hour break before the start of debates on the annexes to the budget bill.
The maximum time allowed for debating the articles and annexes was set at 600 minutes.
The debates were halted at Annex 3 the budget of the Ministry of Development, where several amendments were made and put up for a vote.
The Legislative suspended its joint plenary sitting debating the draft 2021 national budget at 02:00hrs on Tuesday morning, planning to resume talks later in the day at 10:00hrs.
On Tuesday, the Legislative body resumed the debates on the annexes to the budget bill and was scheduled to cast the vote of this year’s state budget and social security budget bills. The specialised parliamentary committees gave the green light to the two bills in the versions proposed by the government, passing none of the 3,500 amendments filed by the opposition, who are accusing the government of drafting an austerity budget.