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Nov 30, 2017 13:50 EEST
November 30 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian parliament has approved the state budget framework for 2018, with revenues projected at 38.3 billion levs ($23.2 million/19.6 million euro) against expenditures of 39.2 billion levs, local media reported on Thursday.
The budget framework was approved on second and final reading in a 120-86 vote with one abstention in a marathon session that closed in the early hours on Thursday, business and economic news outlet investor.bg reported.
The planned budget deficit will be equivalent to around 1% of the Gross Domestic Product projected for 2018, according to news outlet mediapool.bg. This compares with a shortfall equivalent to 1.4% of GDP projected in Bulgaria's 2017 state budget.
The parliament approved expenditures of 1.1 billion levs for boosting the country's defence capabilities in 2018. The budget also envisages 1.14 billion levs of expenses for the ministry of defence and 1.3 billion levs expenses for the ministry of the interior.
In June, the defence ministry said it plans to spend 3.54 billion levs on rearmament programmes between 2017 and 2029. The programmes envisage purchasing new combat aircraft for 1.5 billion levs, multi purpose modular patrol vessels for 820 million levs and military equipment for land forces for 1.22 billion levs.
In 2014, at the NATO summit in Wales, Bulgaria committed to a defence spending target of 2% of GDP, to be reached in the following 10 years.
Voting on the separate elements of the 2018 state budget is continuing on Thursday.
(1 euro=1.95583 levs)
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