Preliminary Draft Budget Includes Deficit of CZK 235 Billion

Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) added that the amount of the deficit agreed yesterday was provisional. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, June 22 (CTK) – The Czech cabinet yesterday approved a preliminary draft of the state budget, expected to run a deficit of CZK 235 billion, with revenues expected to be CZK 1.899 billion and expenditures CZK 2.134 billion, Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) told reporters.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) added that the amount of the deficit agreed yesterday was provisional, and the final amount would range between the CZK 235 billion approved yesterday and the CZK 270 billion ceiling the government set last week.

Stanjura said that the amount of revenues and expenditures would be likely to change after the Finance Ministry’s August macroeconomic forecast. The specific form of the budget is still subject to political debate. The government will approve it by the end of September.

“These are preliminary proposals for revenues and expenditures of individual chapters, negotiations are yet to start,” said Stanjura. Officials will now work out the approved limits by chapter, he added, and on that basis the economic deputies of the ministries will first discuss the final form of the budget, and then the ministers.

Fiala stressed that individual ministers will not go to the Ministry of Finance to negotiate money for their own chapter, but the government will negotiate the form of the budget as a team. He said that In his opinion, such a debate is part of the responsible behaviour of all ministers.

The approved budget deficit for this year is CZK 295 billion. However, the National Budget Council has expressed doubts about the prospect of keeping it at that level, and economic analysts have expressed similar views. As of the end of May, the deficit was CZK 271.4 billion.

Stanjura said yesterday that next week the government would start discussing additional savings to help balance the budget. He expects an agreement in mid-July.

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