Draft Budget 2018 to Be Adopted This Week
Albanian Daily News
Published October 23, 2017
The 2018 budget and the fiscal package that will accompany it will go to the cabinet for approval this week. During the coming year, the government forecasts total revenues in the state coffers to reach 464,292 million lek, increasing by 6.4 percent compared to this year.
According to the preliminary draft of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, public expenditures account for about 499,389 million lek with a 5.7 percent increase. The voice that has the highest expenditure growth is that of capital spending. For 2018, capital expenditures account for 77,665 million lek, most of which go for roads’ construction. This is just 5.2 percent of national production, up from 4.8 this year.
The inclusion of small business in the Value Added Tax (VAT) scheme and property taxation for second houses will be two of the new fiscal policies made public by the Minister of Economy and Finance Arben Ahmetaj.
“We will extend the VAT scheme to zero level. With this step, we believe we will help formalize the economy and of course this formalization will be done without any price increase, because 20% is in the cost of final price and costs are imposed by the market, not us. For the small business we will have a simplified statement procedure, once every three months and certainly MoFE is now preparing the draft, taking care that the craftsmen, according to the craftsmanship law, are not part of the VAT scheme. Even the formal municipal markets that operate with the permission of the municipality, will be treated differently,” said Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj a few days ago in a media statement.
As far as property taxes are concerned, even though the Finance Ministry has not yet completed the draft, the minister assured that there would not be a differentiated level for second homes. According to the Law on Budget, the Minister of Economy and Finance submits for approval to the Council of Ministers the annual draft budget, with three-year ceilings, on the basis of the mid-term budget program, together with the revised mid-term budget program.
In the first week of November, the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Council of Ministers, submits the annual draft budget to the parliament. The draft of the annual budget is expected to be approved by the Parliament by 20 December.