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Jul 01, 2022 10:58 EEST
July 1 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian parliament said it approved at second and final reading a revision to the 2022 state budget, increasing estimated revenue by 760 million levs to some 34.1 billion levs ($16.8 billion/16.05 billion euro.
Expenditure will be raised to about 21.2 billion levs from the proposed 20.4 billion levs, parliament said in a statement after the vote late on Thursday evening.
The budget revision, proposed by the coalition government, which earlier this week resigned after losing a vote of no-confidence, lifts the average annual inflation forecast for 2022 to 11.9% from the originally pencilled-in 5.6%. It targets real economic growth of 2.9% and foreign direct investment (FDI) of 2.4% of the projected GDP.
Under the revision, the limit for issuing new government debt this year was raised to 10.3 billion levs from 7.3 billion levs.
The National Assembly also voted to scrap the excise tax on electricity, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas until June 30, 2025, as a measure to support businesses and consumers in the face of the unexpected significant jump in energy prices resulting from increased global demand.
The VAT on supply of heating energy and natural gas will be lowered to 9% from the current 20% until July 1, 2023, according to parliament's statement.
As a result of the favourable vote, a special package of economic measures will go into force as of Friday, including the removal of value-added tax (VAT) on bread and milling flour until July 1 2023 and a subsidy of 0.25 levs per litre on the pump price of motor fuels until end-December. Pensions will increase by 10% in two steps, from July 1 and October 1.
The 2 billion levs anti-crisis package was announced by the government in May in response to the economic difficulties stemming from the continued war in Ukraine.
Lawmakers also adopted compensations to businesses to soften the blow of high electricity prices. The state will cover 100% of the difference between the base price of 250 levs per MWh and the real monthly average commodity exchange price for delivery on the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange's (IBEX) day-ahead segment.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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