6. februar 17:22
5. decembar 2022 13:08
Mali: 2023 budget to rest upon three pillars
BELGRADE - Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said on Monday the 2023 budget would rest upon three pillars: an increase of living standards, capital investments and energy, and was very conservative-minded in order to produce higher-than-expected revenues.
In an appearance on the RTS, Mali said Serbia had registered positive GDP growth in the first three quarters of this year and that the debt-to-GDP ratio was around 54 pct, which he noted was below the Maastricht level and the current EU average of 94.5 pct.
Despite the crisis, the government is continuing to increase wages and pensions, he said, adding that a cumulative 20.8 pct pension increase would be the highest-ever. He said public administration employees and military personnel would see 12.5 pct and 25 pct wage increases, respectively, and that the minimum wage would be increased by 14.3 pct to over 40,000 dinars from January 1.
He also said 6.8 pct of GDP would go to capital investments as a very important segment of GDP growth.
"In the next two to three weeks, we expect to sign an agreement with the EU on a Belgrade-Nis high-speed rail line, 10 motorways and expressways are currently under construction and we have additional funds for the construction of a Belgrade metro and investments in hospitals and schools."
Mali said that, amid a global energy crisis, Serbia had sufficient money to secure gas supplies and was also fighting to ensure sufficient electricity to households and businesses.
"Our projected revenues for next year are 7.8 pct higher, which is by far the most conservative approach - we are trying to be as conservative as we can to make sure revenues are a nice surprise to us. For this year, our revenues are 192 bln dinars higher than planned," he said.
"The global crisis since 2020 is probably the biggest-ever since WWII, due to the pandemic and then also due to the big supply chain problems, and there is also the energy crisis, the Ukraine conflict. Amid all those circumstances, Serbia has been managing much better than countries that are more developed than we are," Mali noted.
(1 euro = 117.29 dinars)