Wednesday, June 12 2024 11:26
Alexandr Avanesov

State budget both financial and political document - minister 

State budget both financial and political document - minister 

ArmInfo. The state budget is not only an accounting document, it is, first of all, a political  document. RA Minister of Finance Vahe Hovhannisyan stated this on June 12, presenting a report on the execution of the state budget of Armenia for 2023 in the National Assembly.

According to the minister, the state budget is the basis for the  formation of current and future policies. In this regard,  Hovhannisyan expressed regret that there are no broad discussions  being held on the issue of implementation of the country's basic  economic law. As a rule, the opposition does not participate in them,  which either does not want discussions or does not want to return to  the constructive field. "As a result, effective discussions tend to  not take place amid political intrigue and a lack of qualified  commentary.  Although the report presents the results of work in the  past, it nevertheless has a direct connection in the context of both  current and future developments The fact that the implementation of  the state budget may not be of interest makes it necessary to clarify  the forms and methods of its presentation. It is very important to  use terms very carefully, not to speak only in numbers, not to  highlight only expenses, revenues, deficits and fiscal stability,"  the minister said.

He noted that the policies implemented by the authorities should be  assessed behind the numbers, especially in the context of  socio-economic developments. In 2023, the Armenian authorities  strictly adhered to fiscal rules - the capex exceeded the state  treasury deficit by approximately 284 billion drams, and the level of  government debt was lower than planned by 1.7 percentage points.  Thus, according to the minister, in 2023, tax revenues (tax revenues  and state duties) of the state treasury grew at a faster pace - by  0.7 percentage points. - up to 23.4% of GDP (the program of  activities of the Cabinet of Ministers until 2026 plans to increase  the figure to 25%). In particular, last year tax revenues (taxes and  state duties) increased by 295.9 billion drams or 15.4% - to 2  trillion 221.9 billion drams, against 1 trillion 962.5 billion drams  in 2022. The upward trend in capital expenditures continued into  2023. The indicator from 4.6% in relation to GDP reached 5.2%, which  made it possible to properly finance infrastructure programs in the  field of security and social nature. In absolute numbers.

The growth of tax revenues and, accordingly, the level of GDP  recorded above the planned level, as well as the efforts of fiscal  policy, made it possible to reduce the level of the deficit to 2% of  GDP (0.1 percentage points below the 2022 figure) or by 1.1  percentage points. below the planned level. In absolute figures, the  figure was about 189 billion drams.

The level of government debt to GDP was 48.1%, or 1.4 percentage  points more than in 2022. At the same time, the figure turned out to  be lower than planned by 1.7 percentage points, Hovhannisyan  indicated. Let us recall that according to the Ministry of Finance,  in 2023, Armenia increased its public debt by 11.4% or $1 billion  207.6 million - up to $11 billion 845.3 million. During the reporting  period, government debt in American currency increased by $1 billion  208.3 million. or by 12% - from $10 billion 086.4 million by the end  of 2022 to $11 billion 294.6 million, and in drams - by 602.3 billion  drams or 15.2% - to 4 trillion 571.9 billion drams.

The execution of the state budget expenditures amounted to 97%.  Financial authorities also improved the indicator on capital  expenditures. If in 2022 the figure was 95%, then last year it  increased by 1 percentage point. Thus, in 2022, the implementation of  programs implemented with external assistance was 81.6%, then in 2023  the figure reached 92%. 96.3% of the planned programs were completed  through external resources, and 99% through the Ministry of Defense.

In general, according to the Statistical Service, in 2023 the RA GDP  grew by 8.7%. In absolute figures, GDP amounted to 9 trillion 502.8  billion drams, or, at the current exchange rate, approximately $23  billion 464 million. As for the structure of GDP, trade (wholesale  and retail) occupies 12.7%, manufacturing industry - 11.1% ,  agriculture - 8.4%, real estate - 8.3%, financial sector - 7.4%,  construction (not to be confused with the sale of real estate) -  6.9%. The IT and telecommunications sector occupies 5.5%, healthcare  - 5.4%, transport sector - 3.9%, mining industry (including both  mines and sand and stone quarries) - 2.9%, energy - 2.6 %.  

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