By Monday, deputies submitted 119 amendments to the Bill on the Budget of Montenegro for 2023, the total fiscal effect of which is 170 million euros.
Finance Minister Aleksandar Damjanović announced that the budget deficit, if all of them were adopted, would be between nine and ten percent, which is meaningless. He stated that the net fiscal effect of all amendments is 141.51 million euros, but that the additional effect on the budget reserve is 30 million euros, Mina agency reports, referring to Pobjeda.
“We planned a budget deficit of 5.9 percent, which is the upper limit that can withstand domestic and international scrutiny in terms of sustainability and deficit financing with foreign partners. The amount of 170 million euros of new obligations for the budget is an additional three percent, so the deficit would go to eight to nine percent, and you yourself know that this is pointless,” said Damjanović on Monday at the session of the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget.
Most of the amendments refer to the capital budget, so Damjanović said that the only way for the Government of Montenegro to adopt them is to linearly reduce the existing capital budget by 20 percent.
“If we reduce the existing capital budget by 20 percent linearly, that is 40 million euros.” That reduction will not endanger any project, because they will certainly not be realized 100 percent,” asserts Damjanović.
He did not accept the amendment of the Socialist People’s Party (SNP), the single largest in terms of fiscal effect, by which his party requested an increase in the budget of the Employment Agency by 45 million euros, in order to pay the unemployed a monthly allowance of 100 euros.
“We will consider one-time assistance to those persons during the year, in accordance with the financial situation,” said Damjanović.
Seven government amendments were accepted which, among other things, envisage the establishment of the Administration for Games of Chance, provide money for the completion of the construction of the stadium in Cetinje and for the improvement of the water supply in Nikšić.
Democrat MP Vladimir Martinović requested 600,000 euros from the current budget reserve for the organization of the Mosi Games in Kolašin, which Damjanović approved.
Adnan Striković (SDP) submitted 12 amendments, of which the government accepted eight. The government’s support was received by amendments that requested 800,000 euros for the construction of gymnasiums for two elementary schools in Bijelo Polje and Cetinje, 400,000 euros for the reconstruction of the children’s hospital in Cetinje, 450,000 euros for the completion of the road, and 600,000 euros each for several municipalities in the north to strengthen the riverbed of Lim river.
The request to Increase the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture by 8 million euros was not accepted, nor was 2.2 million euros for the purchase of equipment for stationary radars accepted.
Striković also asked for 100,000 euros to hold the Montenegro beer fest event, 810,000 euros for the reconstruction of the road Loznice-Rasovo-Gubavče and 300,000 euros for the preparation of documentation for the reconstruction of a building of historical importance in Kolašin, which was accepted.
The amendments of Dragan Bojović from the Democratic Front (DF) were accepted, in which he requested 240,000 euros for the expropriation of property on the Danilovgrad-Spuž road via Martinić, 1.7 million euros for bicycle paths and 200,000 euros for the construction of the temple of Saint Petka in Danilovgrad.
Milosava Paunović (SNP) requested 20,000 euros for the construction of a monument to Marko Miljanov in Berane, 220,000 euros for the reconstruction of eight elementary schools in that town, 250,000 euros for two schools in Budva, and 250,000 euros for the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, which the Montenegrin government accepted.
The requests of Sulj Mustafić (BS) to allocate three million euros for the reconstruction of the road Bar-Kamenički most-Krute, as well as one million euros for the road Virpazar-Sutorman-Bar, were accepted, local media reports.