Verkhovna Rada passes 2013 national budget
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed the draft national budget of Ukraine for 2013, which was submitted by the government on December 3.
The parliament added to the document slight amendments proposed by the budget committee, and passed unchanged the main indices in the document.
Some 242 of the 351 MPs registered in the session hall supported this decision on Thursday.
According to the proposals of the parliament's budget committee, read out by its head Valeriy Baranov, some UAH 1.9 billion of the expenditures of the general fund of the state budget were rearranged, while the revenues and expenditures of the special fund were raised by Hr 1.42 billion.
The draft budget for 2013 submitted by the government, envisaged revenues in 2013 at Hr 361.51 billion, which is 3% less than the indicator set for 2012, while the expenditures forecast in the budget for 2013 were reduced by 1%, to Hr 410.661 billion. The revenues of the general fund were estimated at Hr 315.22 billion, and expenses at UAH 363.65 billion.
The document also foresaw that excess of loans (Hr 13.38 billion) from the national budget on their return (Hr 12.1 billion) will amount to UAH 1.28 billion.
Baranov said that the deficit of the 2013 national budget was approved at the level of Hr 50.43 billion (3.2% of the forecasted GDP), which is 30% more than the target set for 2012.
While adopting the amendments, lawmakers voted to increase the budget expenditures for the Verkhovna Rada (by Hr 60 million), for various courts (Hr 30 million), the production of television programs, including the Ukrainian version of EuroNews Channel (Hr 40 million), repair work in Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Complex (UAH 17 million), concessional lending to young people (Hr 20 million), the National University of the State Tax Service (Hr 51.7 million), the construction of housing for the SBU (Hr 40 million).
They also provided for new subventions to local budgets for social and economic development of the regions to the tune of Hr 1.34 billion. At the same time, subventions to local budgets for the repair of water supply system were reduced by Hr 160 million, those for the State Fund for Regional Development were cut by Hr 470.7 million and expenses for loans under state guarantee were reduced by Hr 1.22 billion.
MPs also voted for amendments that say that in the first half of 2013 the fee for obtaining the information from state registers, which is expected to total Hr 1.32 billion, will go to the budget's special fund. Hr 1 billion from this sum will be spent on public order protection and combating illegal migration, and Hr 316.3 million on the functioning and management of the judicial system.
The maximum amount of the state debt at the end of 2013 is approved at the level of Hr 483.032 billion, which is 14% more than this year's indicator. Besides, the adopted budget provides up to Hr 50 billion in state guarantees on loans.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved on December 3 the draft state budget for 2013, which is based on the forecast of GDP growth of 3.4% and inflation of 4.8%.
The government also said that revenues of the consolidated budget (the state and local budgets) would amount to Hr 463.1 billion, which is 0.5% less than the indicator set for 2012. At the same time, according to the document, the general fund will increase by 0.5% to Hr 403.2 billion, and the special fund will reduce by 6.9% to Hr 59.9 billion.
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