We foresee large investments in the social system – in health care and education. We are betting over BGN 11 billion for capital investments. The budget will be growth oriented. This was stated by Asen Vasilev, Minister of Finance in “More of the Day”.
“We are working on a draft budget for 2024 in several variants. The tax laws will be passed in the first half of November. Inflation is expected to calm down and fall below 5%. The income growth we expect is somewhere between 10 – 15% on an annual basis,” Vassilev said.
He explained that the government program stipulates that labor should be paid well.
“What I tell many foreign business delegations when they come to Bulgaria is, if you came for cheap labor – better go home. We want well-paid jobs, and at the same time, companies to be supported, for to become more productive,” Vasilev commented.
Vasilev announced that the budget for culture has been increased by 50%, after this week dozens of actors from the field went on protests because of low salaries.
The Minister of Finance explained that very active work is being done for Bulgaria’s entry into Schengen.
“A committee has already officially come out to say that we have covered almost all the criteria,” he added.
Asen Vasilev stated that if Bulgaria adopts the euro, interest rates will fall.
“The prices will be as they are at the moment. There is a one-year period in which the prices will be announced in both euros and leva. Banks and the state administration are also preparing hard,” specified the Minister of Finance.
The Minister of Finance explained the reason for drawing a new external debt.
“It is written in the budget that when you have a deficit you have to finance it. The maximum debt that the state could take was 7.5 billion – 3 of which are for old debt. The ratio of debt to gross domestic product fell and will continue to fall,” Vasilev commented.
From his words, it became clear that “Lukoil” from 2009 to 2020 realized a loss of about BGN 1.8 billion and did not pay profit tax.
“What we are doing with Lukoil is to close a loophole in the law so that they pay their taxes now, not in a year. This year we are expecting more than BGN 400 million in tax from Lukoil,” Vassilev added.
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