Fiscal Council: €1.3 billion of state money spent without clear documentation and purpose

The Minister of Finance, Siniša Mali, says that the 2021 budget review has been approved by the Serbian MP via an expedited procedure because the financial results, in the first nine months of this year, are much better than expected, by 182 billion dinars.

The Fiscal Council, however, does not think that everything is so ideal regarding the budget review, i.e. there are rather substantial expenditures in the state budget for which there are no valid explanations.

“In Budget Review Proposal from October this year, we have noticed some €1.3 billion in state expenditure for which this act and the accompanying documentation offer no explanation as to the ultimate purpose of the allocated funds. For example, the Office for Public Investment Management in 2021 has a budget of over €180 million, which is divided into two generically named programmes, with no indication of the final destination of the funds,” the Fiscal Council has said.

They recall the insufficiently transparent presentation of some public expenditures during the budget review in April last year, when this phenomenon became particularly pronounced.

“At first, this could be tolerated, because it was essential to quickly adapt the budget to the new circumstances and take measures to mitigate the impact of the shock caused by the pandemic on the population and the economy. However, this practice continued in the second review in 2020, and then throughout 2021, for which it is difficult to find a valid justification. The reduced transparency can no longer be justified by extraordinary circumstances because fiscal developments are much more favourable than initially expected and the economy seems to have largely recovered from the crisis, so the need for sudden and unusual budgetary interventions has long since ceased,” the Council underlined.

(Nova, 27.10.2021)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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