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Tevdovski: Budget rebalance to boost financial situation of municipalities

Budget rebalance will provide financial support to 51 percent of registered and overdue debts of the municipalities. MKD 3 billion are projected for schools, kindergartners, cultural centres and other institutions under the competence of local self-government, Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski told Sunday’s news conference.

Besides helping the municipalities to boost financial condition, the budget rebalance will enable establishing mechanism to prevent indebtedness problem not to be repeated, liquidity injection measure will be conducted to companies and new projects will be implemented, Tevdovski said at the news conference with Minister of Local Self Government Suhejl Fazliu and mayors of Bitola, Tetovo and Gevgelija, Natasa Petrovska, Teuta Arifi and Saso Pockov.

Tevdovski said that the municipalities will be able to project their own revenues to the basic budget with a maximum of 10% increase from the average realization in the last three years.

“For a year, debts of MKD 5.1 billion have been reduced to MKD 1.5 billion and now the institutions can function normally. The main reason for the overdue debts was the unrealistic budgeting of the municipalities. We are now introducing a mechanism to prevent this to happen in the future,” Tevdovski said.

Fazliu said that by providing MKD 3 billion to cover inherited debts of the municipalities, the government creates conditions for the municipalities to be more functional, to respond to the needs of the citizens and to ensure development.

He said that this is an impetus for the local authorities, adding that the practice of uncontrolled spending of money of the citizens must end. According to the laws, greater transparency and accountability in the operating is necessary i.e. the municipalities must publish data on the spending of funds and money paid to creditors at their websites.

Arifi said that the municipality of Tetovo welcomes this step of the government for the payment of 51% of overdue debts of the municipalities.

“This is of great importance for us and means more successful functioning, realization of plans, improvement of the living standard of the citizens, and therefore more powerful municipalities in opening EU accession negotiations process,” Arifi said.

Petrovska informed that the help of the central authority which decided to give financial support in settling of inherited debts amounting to EUR 4.5 million in Bitola municipality was needed.

Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee is set to hold debate on 2018 budget rebalance on Monday (Oct. 29). The government adopted 2018 budget rebalance on Oct. 13.