Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee Passes Budget Update

Finance | July 30, 2013, Tuesday // 14:20|  views

The final vote on the revision of Bulgaria's State budget 2013 will be held in plenary hall by the end of the week. File photo

The Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finances passed at second reading the draft budget 2013 update.

The current, Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of former Finance Minister and now Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, and Finance Minister, Petar Chobanov, decided in mid-July it was necessary to revise the budget prepared by Simeon Djankov, Finance Minister in the previous Cabinet of the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.

The update includes a plan to take a new loan in the amount of BGN 1 B to be used as a buffer for the fiscal reserve in 2014, when Bulgaria must make new payments on its foreign debt. Other funds will be slated for the overdue money for the business and for social measures.

The MPs from the Committee approved the proposal of their colleagues from the left-wing Coalition for Bulgaria to increase the State assistance for families with disabled children from BGN 189 a month to BGN 217. The measure will take force in August and will affect 22 000 handicapped Bulgarian children.

BGN 3 M will be needed for it by the end of 2013, and another BGN 7.4 M for 2014.

The full budget update is to also become effective in August 2013. It is expected that the final vote on the revision will be held in plenary hall by the end of the week.

The Committee rejected GERB's proposal for a BGN 150 M-social package on grounds the government was already implementing social measures for the most disadvantaged groups and the number of people receiving "energy" assistance has been increased to 60 000, according to Chobanov.

Representatives of the trade unions stated they were deeply disappointed that even with the revision, social policies have been pushed to the side.

GERB and the recently-established right-leaning Reformist Block, which has no parliamentary representation, firmly oppose the revision.

The Bulgarian Trud (Labor) daily writes Tuesday that President, Rosen Plevneliev, is very close to vetoing the controversial actualization of State budget 2013.

One week ago, the first and only clashes with riot police during the now 47-day strong anti-government protests occurred when lawmakers and ministers decided to work late to discuss in 3 committees the budget update.

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Tags: Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finances, update, parliament, sofia, clashes, riot police, Delyan Peevski, State Agency for National Security, protests, anti-government, revision, blockade, Plamen Oresharski, actualization, lawmakers, GDP, GERB, Boyko Borisov, budget, 2013, Rosen Plevneliev, president, Petar Chobanov, Simeon Djankov, DSB, Radan Kanev, DANS, protesters, parliament, Mihail Mikov, Bulgaria, Bulgarian


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