Parliament adopts 2003 budget

The Serbian Parliament adopted Friday evening the draft budget for year 2003, totalling 261.5 billion dinars.

Inflow to the budget was projected to the amount of 214.6 billion dinars and is based on tax on GDP in 2003 which totalled 1,225.9 billion dinars and 17.5 of the GDP. Budgetary deficit is estimated at 46.9 billion dinars.

According to the Law on 2003 Budget, the structure of budgetary income is as follows: 50.6 billion dinars on citizens’ income tax, 3.8 billion from corporate income tax, 89.4 billion dinars from sales tax, 47.9 billion from excises, 3.8 billion from the tax on financial transactions and 19.9 billion from other sources.

The incomes in the budget are based on a planned one-term increase of excises on petrol and diesel as well as coffee.

The government will consider the possibility of further reduction of the tax on financial transactions. The budget stipulates the rate of this tax to be halved in the course of 2003. The 2003 budget does not include tax on extra profit.

The government plans to cover the 46.9 billion budgetary deficit with 15.4 billion dinars from privatisation, 9.5 billion from donations, 12.7 billion in loans from international financial institutions and 9.3 billion dinars in borrowings from domestic financial institutions, ie the Yugoslav National Bank, business banks and also though issuing commercial bonds.

As for the budgetary deficit, 25.7 percent or 67.198 billion dinars of the budget will be sent to organisations in charge of compulsory social insurance. Out of that sum, 48.777 billion will be donated to the Serbian Pension and Health Insurance Fund, 4.7 billion to the Serbian Bureau of Health Insurance, five billion to Serbian Labour Market Bureau and 1.680 billion to the Serbian Fund for pension and disability insurance of farmers.

About 32 billion will be set aside for social protection, including children’s allowances, refugees, help to internally displaced persons. The budget thus confirms government social concept with 37.7 percent of funds for social issues.

Repay of accumulated interest to domestic and foreign creditors will take 8.522 billion dinars, whereas main amounts total 65 million.

The budget was supported by 119 deputies, seven voted against and two were abstained. Deputies of Democratic Party of Serbia, Socialist Party of Serbia, Serbian Radical Party, Serbian Unity Party and five deputies of New Serbia movement were absent.