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Bulgaria's govt projects up to 4.1% deficit in 2022 draft budget

Bulgaria's govt projects up to 4.1% deficit in 2022 draft budget Source:

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 21 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's draft budget for 2022 envisages deficit of 4.1% of the planned gross domestic product (GDP) with coronavirus-related expenditure included, finance minister Assen Vasilev said on Friday.

The budget gap will be equivalent to 2.5% of GDP without the expenditure on coronavirus measures, Vassilev said in a video file published on the website of local business news outlet

The draft budget envisages GDP growth of 4.8% and unemployment rate of 5%, Vassilev said, adding that the priority will be given to an increase in capital investments, a significant increase in investment in people as well as social policy.

"It is planned to double all capital investments from 2.8% of GDP currently to 5.8% of GDP. The growth of capital investments in municipalities based on transfers from the central budget will amount to 30%," Vassilev said.

The draft budget bill will be submitted to parliament for consideration on January 31.

According to the agreement signed by the four political forces that form Bulgaria's government coalition after the November snap election, the budget for 2022 will be updated in the middle of the year. Last month, the caretaker government decided to withdraw its draft budget bill that envisaged a budget deficit for 2022 equivalent to 5.4% of GDP, thus leaving it to the new regular government to propose its own draft budget after it is voted into office.

Earlier this month, the finance ministry said that Bulgaria's consolidated budget is expected to be in deficit of 4.0 billion levs ($2.3 billion/2.0 billion euro) as at the end of 2021, equivalent to 3.0% of the projected GDP for the year. By the end of November, Bulgaria ran a budget surplus equivalent to 0.5% of GDP.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)

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