The National Assembly approved on first reading the Draft Law on State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria for 2016. Out of 212 MPs who took part in the vote 138 voted in favor, 65 were against and 9 abstained.
The Draft Law foresees a budget deficit in the amount of BGN 1.8 billion, which relative to the projected GDP equals 2 percent. According to the parameters set out in the bill, the expected GDP growth for 2016 is 2.6 percent and the average annual inflation is 0.5 percent.
Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said that the philosophy of Budget 2016 is stability, realistic approach and results. Among the key priorities of the bill, as outlined by the Minister, are education, infrastructure, decline in unemployment and preserved stability of public finances in medium term.
The draft budget provides for increased funding of municipalities. A total of BGN 2 662.1 million is allocated for budgetary relations with municipalities, of which BGN 403.6 million for local activities and BGN 2 258.5 million for activities delegated by the State.
The transitional and final provisions of the Draft Law on State Budget for 2016 introduce changes to the Law on State Budget for 2015. The report of the Budget Committee states that according to the estimates made by the managing authorities additional transfers in the amount of EUR 714.7 million will be needed to pre-finance expenditure under the European programs and to ensure national co-financing for the projects.