Harsh Exchanges over Factual 2015 Budget in Committee of Economy
Albanian Daily News
Published October 18, 2016

Discussions on the factual budget of 2015 were accompanied by harsh exchanges between the Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj and the lawmakers of the opposition in the Parliamentary Committee of Economy.

"The 2015 budget met all the main objectives supporting the reforms of the government, and guaranteeing further fiscal consolidation and strengthening sustainable economic growth," Minister Ahmetaj said.

The Minister also said that the 2015 budget stabilized the finances of the state as well.

"If we take into consideration that the government had to get rid of outstanding obligations, the deficit in 2015 had the relative value of 2.8 percent, one of the lowest in the history of the country," Minister Ahmetaj said.

But according to the opposition, the factual budget of 2015 is the certificate of failure for the government in regards to the economy of the country.

"2015 has the maximum historical level for the public debt, 73 percent, as never before. But the government wants to declare successes even for what happened in 2015 and for what is happening at present," former Minister of Finance, democrat Ridvan Bode said.

According to Bode, the budget has worsened the level of living of citizens, but the current Minister of Finance is claiming the opposite.

"The fact that the salaries and pensions have not been increased shows that the citizens are becoming poorer," Bode said.

Minister Ahmetaj contradicted the statements of Bode.

"Compared to the previous year, employment increased by 4.8 percent," Minister Ahmetaj said.

Through the budget, the government spends over 30 percent of the GDP and according to the High State Audit abuses by institutions are not small.

"Based on audits carried out to check the implementation of 2015 budget, the damages which were found out were in the amount of Lek8 billion," the head of the High State Audit, Bujar Leskaj said.

Leskaj asked the government to reduce the change of the budget through a normative act, because this will increase the chances of abuses.

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