"Budget deficit lower than planned"

Finance Minister Lazar Krstić has stated that the deficit in the consolidated state budget was RSD 179 billion at the end of last year.

Source: Beta
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This is approximately 20 billion less than planned in the budget overhaul, Beta has reported.

"The RSD 25-billion contraction of the budget gap at all state levels, despite smaller tax revenue, is the result of austerity measures launched in September last year, but also of the surplus in local government budgets," he told the news agency in an interview, and added:

"This shows that money distribution between the national and local level had not been optimal, and this issue will be on the agenda, parallel to establishing the manner of financing Vojvodina, which also had a surplus in its budget."

He highlighted as positive the news that the public debt, instead of the projected 64.7 percent of the gross domestic product, had been 62.7 percent of the GDP at the close of 2013.

Krstić said he expected the state budget deficit to be smaller than the planned 7.1 percent of the GDP in 2014, as the state till revenue and expenditure projections were made without taking into account the effect of limiting the number of public sector employees; expenditures for the recovery of the remaining partly state-owned banks should also be lower.

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