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Nov 07, 2017 15:17 EEST
November 7 (SeeNews) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Serbia's fiscal deficit to stand at 0.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, the head of the IMF mission to Belgrade, James Roaf, said on Tuesday.
"For the 2018 budget, the priority is to preserve the fiscal achievements, while supporting growth-enhancing initiatives, such as increasing the public investments and reducing the tax burden on low-income citizens," Roaf said in a video file posted on the website of news agency Tanjug.
Therefore, given the increase of pensions and salaries in the public sector as of 2018, the fiscal deficit next year is seen at 0.7% of GDP, Roaf said.
"Remaining structural weaknesses in the economy need to be tackled by continuing to implement the structural reform agenda," he added.
Last month, Serbia's government said it plans to increase pensions by 5% as of January 1, and start abolishing the Law on Pension Reduction as of next year, when the total value of pensions will be cut below 11% of the country's GDP.
In 2014, the government adopted a law cutting pensions higher than 25,000 dinars ($243.7/209.6 euro) by between 22% and 25% as part of measures to reduce fiscal deficit.
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