ArmInfo. Expenses of the state treasury of Armenia in 2018 as a result of discussions in the standing commissions of the National Assembly increased by 15 billion drams. This November 30, presenting an adjusted version of the draft budget for the next year, during the government meeting, Armenian Minister of Finance Vardan Aramyan
According to the Minister, the budget expenditures from the previously planned 1, 464.2 billion drams (1.360.1 billion in 2017 and 1.420.6 billion in 2016) will grow to 1, 465.2 billion drams. As Aramyan explained, according to the RA Law on Budget System, a financial document for the next year is submitted to the country's parliament, where the expenses are calculated on the basis of the exchange rate as of September 1. Later, changes in the exchange rate of the currency require certain adjustments. In this case, as the head of the Ministry of Finance pointed out, changes in the exchange rate of almost 5 drams led to an increase in revenues by 1.5 billion drams.
In addition, the expenditure part of the draft budget grew by 4 billion drams, which was due to the increase in financing of the healthcare system of Armenia - from 72.6 billion drams, planned by the previous text of the document, to 76.6 billion drams. The State Water Committee of Armenia also expects an increase in financing in the amount of 1 billion 289 million drams to cover the costs associated with the rise in price of the water tariff in the amount of 11.4 drams per cubic meter (including VAT). Meanwhile, on November 22, on the day of approval of Veolia Djur's application for increasing the water tariff, the head of the water supply and drainage department of the State Water Management Committee of Armenia Armen Sergoyan said that the difference of 11.4 drams will be compensated by rent of a single operator to the state budget of the country. A few days ago, ArmInfo was told by the Committee that a document was being prepared under which the difference would be subsidized from the reserve fund of the Government and would not become an additional burden for the state budget of the country. "We will try to find a more targeted solution to this issue in 2019," Aramyan said.
Pursuant to the requirements of the new Constitution, the expenditures of the Government Office will be allocated 1.7 billion drams more than the previous version of the draft budget. At the same time, the expenditures of the government's reserve fund will be increased by 3.9 billion drams from 21.1 billion drams earlier laid down to 25 billion drams, which is due to planned activities and, possibly, unplanned expenses for them. About 1bln AMD are planned to be allocated for ensuring border security and implementation of Armenia's obligations in the framework of international agreements.
According to the head of the Ministry of Finance, on the part of parliamentarians, proposals were made to increase expenditure items in a number of spheres and directions, or at least to maintain the indicators of 2017. The Ministry of Finance plans to consider the proposals within the framework of the medium-term expenditure program for 2018-2021. According to some proposals, despite their relevance, the Ministry of Finance was forced to pass a negative conclusion, as Vardan Aramyan noted that as a result, Armenia could go beyond the threshold set by the country's fiscal legislation.
Note that the nominal GDP of Armenia in 2018, according to the draft budget for the next year, will grow by 441 billion - from 5,409.1 billion expected by the end of 2017 to 5,850.7 billion drams pledged in the project. The economic growth in 2018 is planned at 4.5% or $ 11.948.9 million. The forecasts of economic growth for the next year are largely due to the outlined positive dynamics this year, as a result of which the Ministry of Finance raised the forecasts for economic growth in 2017 from the planned 3, 2% to 4.3%. In the matter of ensuring economic growth, one of the locomotives is promised by industry and the services sector. So, 4.5% of GDP will be provided at the expense of industry 1.1%, agriculture - 0.6%, services - 2.2%, net indirect taxes - 0.4%. 12-month inflation by the end of 2018 will be 4%, instead of expected in 2017, 2.4% and actual -1.1% at the end of 2016. Exports will reach 37.4% of GDP, against the projected in 2017 37% and 33.1% in 2016. The consolidated budget of Armenia for the year 2018 in terms of revenues, according to the results of parliamentary adjustments, will make 1.308.2bln AMD, instead of 1.307.3bln drams announced earlier (without receipt of interbudgetary transfers). The deficit / GDP instead of 156.8bln AMD in the previous text of the document will make 156.9bln AMD. Capital expenditures will make 158.7bln AMD, instead of 172.4bln AMD (160bn in 2016) earlier planned, current expenses from 1.391.8bln AMD will grow to 1.306.5bln AMD. By the end of 2018, the national debt, with $ 6.8bln of AMD expected by the end of this year, will grow to over $ 7.2 billion and make up 60% of GDP.