The Serbian Fiscal Council said on Monday that the amended state budget includes unjustified expenses which will raise the deficit from the planned three percent of the GDP to seven percent.
“The expenses in the amended budget have been increased by two billion dinars with just one billion of that money are justified expenses,” Fiscal Council President Pavle Petrovic told a meeting of the Parliamentary Finance, Budget and Public Spending Committee.
He added that the state will have to get further into debt to finance the extra expenditure and warned that the public debt will be raised from 58 percent of the GDP to 61 percent. According to Petrovic, investments in infrastructure and environmental protection are justified.
Petrovic said that investments in arming the military are excessively high and added that the government is planning a non-selective package of aid for its citizens and businesses.
Finance Minister Sinisa Mali told the Committee meeting that the budget expenses are higher because of the third aid package aimed at stimulating economic growth and easing the effects of the pandemic. He said the aid package is worth 257 billion Dinars or 4.3 percent of the GDP. Mali added that the total aid provided by the government to date totals 17.2 percent of the GDP.
Under the draft changes to the budget which will be debated by the Serbian Parliament on April 21, the budget deficit will total 381.7 billion dinars.
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