YEREVAN, October 30. / ARKA /. Armenia’s next year’s draft budget calls for 1.151 trillion drams in spending, which is about 107 billion drams more than the amount in this year’s budget, finance minister Vache Gabrielyan said today during a parliament discussion on the document.
He said 83.1% of the total spending, which amounts to 996.3 billion drams are earmarked as current expenditures and the remaining 16.9% or 195.1 billion drams as capital costs.
According to the minister, 41.7% of next year’s revenues are earmarked for social spending, 21.1 percent will be channeled into ensuring defense and security, 14.1 percent into economy, 4.6 percent will be set aside to pay off Armenia’s public debt and 3.1% will be given to regions as subsidies.
"In particular, 108.1 billion drams are earmarked for general education, 11.2 billion drams for science, 70.3 billion drams for health sector, which is 5.1 billion drams more than in 2012,” he said. The minister said social spending in 2013 will be reduced by 4.1 billion drams in comparison with 2012 to 303 billion drams. He said the reduction is due to the completion of housing construction in the earthquake zone. Besides, the amount of money earmarked for payment of retirement pensions will be cut by 1.1 billion drams because of an overhaul in this sector resulting in the decrease in the number of eligible senior citizens.
The minister said the amount set for payment of various benefits and allowances will increase by 300 million drams, while unemployment benefits will be cut by 900 million drams because of the reduction in unemployment.
Vache Gabrielyn also said the number of public servants eligible to social benefits will rise next year by 31,000 people to 148,000. This will entail additional 19.5 billion drams in spending.
The funding of culture, religion and recreation be rise to 18 billion drams, which is 20.6% less than this year. The minister explained the reduction by expected accomplishment of renovation of the State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet and Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. Also 611.5 million are earmarked to finance youth projects.
Some 62.5 billion drams are earmarked for government agencies to pay their expenditures, up from 58 billion drams in 2012. Also 1.4 billion drams will be released for conduct of presidential election.
Gabrielyan also noted that 52.5 billion drams will be set aside to pay Armenia’s foreign debt, by 4.8 billion drams more than in 2012. Also 119.8 billion drams will be set aside to finance budget deficit. Some 55.2 billion drams are to come from external sources and 64.6 billion drams from domestic sources.
The next year’s consolidated budget calls for 1.031 trillion drams in revenue and 1. 151 trillion drams in spending. The projected 12 month inflation is 4 ± 1.5%, and the GDP growth is 6.2%. ($1 - 405.73 drams). -0-