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The Budget is stable, demographic renewal among the 2023 priorities


The Minister of Finance of Republika Srpska, Zora Vidović stated in an interview for the News agency "SRNA" that the Budget of Republika Srpska is stable and liquid and that priorities for next four years should be economic aid for citizens, demographic renewal, as well as maintaining the level of employment and economic growth.

"The plan is to maintain a stable and liquid Budget. We do not have unsettled obligations from last year. We increased grants and subsidies for Agriculture and the Economy, and those were our main goals," the minister said and added that last year, 650 million BAM was aimed on salary increases, pensions, veterans' allowances, social aid, subsidies to Agriculture and incentives to the Economy. Also, announced that economic assistance will continue to be provided to the most vulnerable categories of citizens.

According to her, measures for the pro-natal policy have brought certain results, especially the payment of 750 BAM for families with four or more children in which one parent is unemployed added that the 4.200 families applied for this right. She said that the Law was changed for such categories of families in order to introduce the payment of contributions for health and pension-disability insurance for them.

She emphasized that the new year is entering with significant increases related to a five percent increase in salaries for Budget users, and Pensions, Veterans and Social benefits by 13.5 percent.

"Wages in the real sector are also increasing significantly, we can see this from the Taxes and Contributions we return to employers. We have a measure to return taxes and contributions to the employer for every increase in wages, so that the increase costs him only the net salary for the worker. That trend will continue ", said the minister.

Speaking about inflation, the minister stated that the rate is among the lowest in the area, and that thanks to the measures of the Government of the Republika Srpska, its influence has been reduced. She emphasized that the high rate of inflation will remain this year, which is why the priority goals will be aid aimed at the economy and maintaining the level of employment.

According to the minister, due to inflation, revenues from indirect taxes have increased and they are directed towards citizens, for the Economy and Agriculture. "We have managed to direct all those higher revenues, which we estimate will be 365 million BAM from both direct and indirect taxes, towards the population and directed another 290 million BAM from the burden of the budget towards the population, the economy and agriculture," she added.

The minister stated that other countries also tried to reduce the negative impact of inflation by increasing salaries, pensions, veterans' and social benefits, and a solid result was achieved when

"It's good that inflation did not result in layoffs and closing of companies. Our economy held up quite well in 2021 and 2022. For this year, 180 million KM allocations are planned for agriculture, which will thus receive a significant tailwind, which is important because of food production," she pointed out. She said that Republika Srpska has 290,000 employees, which is the largest number since its establishment.

Speaking about indebtedness, Minister Vidović emphasized that Republika Srpska successfully finances all its obligations and that it is at the lower limit of indebtedness in area. With precise and realistic planning, this trend will continue in the next four years. She added that the current public debt is 36.1 percent of the gross domestic product, while the total debt is 43.3 percent.

"The upper limit of the total debt is 60 percent of GDP, and the public debt is 55 percent, which means that we still have space for borrowing, but we borrow cautiously because we do not want to cross those limits or come close to them," the minister pointed out.

She stated that this year Republika Srpska needs to repay one billion and 238 million BAM, and plans to borrow one billion and 80 million BAM, which means that 150 million less is borrowed than the repayment.

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