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BELGRADE (Serbia), October 25 (SeeNews) – Serbia's finance minister Dusan Vujovic has said he expects the country will close 2017 with a budget surplus of 35 billion dinars ($344.4 million/292.7 million euro) to 50 billion dinars, which will provide a fiscal space for the launch of a fund for support of start-ups.
The consolidated budget surplus in the first nine months of 2017 is estimated at 86 billion dinars, Vujovic said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug on Tuesday.
The government expects inflation of 2.8% and economic growth of 3.5% next year, Vujovic said on the sidelines of the 17th Serbian Economic Forum in Belgrade which ran on October 23 and 24.
Therefore, the government will be able to increase pensions by 5% and wages in the public sector by up to 10% without any fiscal risk, Vujovic said.
He added that if foreign direct investment (FDI) into Serbia continues to rise, the government will be able to maintain its policy of targeting increase of pensions and wages in the public sector after 2018.
Serbia's budget balance showed a surplus of 66.5 billion dinars in the eight months through August, compared to a surplus of 31.8 billion dinars in the respective period of last year, the finance ministry said last month.
The government said on Monday that it is contemplating the introduction of one-year tax exemption for start-ups, starting in 2018 proposed by the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED).
(1 euro = 119.574 dinars)