Parliament clears 2019 state budget bill

Parliament in plenary session on Friday cleared the 2019 State Budget Bill, 275 to 122 and 2 abstentions.

Several amendments to the state budget bill proposed by the gov't were adopted, one of which referring to supplementing the 2019 Labour Ministry budget so as to raise the child allowances starting with 1 March, from RON 84 to RON 150, and for the under 2 year-old from RON 200 to RON 300.

According to Speaker Liviu Dragnea, in order to ensure the funding source for the above-mentioned allowances, the budget deficit related to the estimated consolidated general budget is going to rise. To enforce such a provision, the law on the ceilings of certain indicators specified in the fiscal-budgetary frame on 2019 will be amended, by increasing the budget deficit from 2.55pct to 2.76pct.

The plenary session also decided to diminish the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI)'s budget, at Speaker Dragnea's proposal, by RON 445 million, the External Information Service (SIE)'s by RON 30 million and the Protection and Guard Service (SPP)'s by RON 50 million, and added to the budgets of the Health Ministry and the National Health Insurance House (CNAS) to finance the programme on vitamin D, the "Panorama" programme that envisages prenatal tests of the pregnant women, the tumor markers' testing programme and the "Juvenile diabetes" programme.

Moreover, the Education Ministry's budget was also supplemeted in order to finance the "Hot meal" programme. In exchange, the budgets of the Permanent Electoral Authority and the Public Finance Ministry were diminished.

The Romanian Academy received an extra amount of RON 350k through an amendment for the editing and publishing of the Romanian literature's classics in integral scientific editions.

Another amendment adopted in the plenary session was proposed by the People's Movement Party (PMP, opposition) Deputy Ionut Simionca and provides for the funding with RON 5,360,000 of a sports complex in the commune of Rodna with the Bistrita-Nasaud County, the budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration being supplemented to that end.

Parliament has also passed the four amendments admitted by the Finance-Budget select committees for the Transport Ministry, one of which aimed at allotting RON 23 million for the review of the feasibility study of the Ungheni - Iasi - Targu Neamt segment, part of ''Unirii'' Motorway. The money is ensured through redistribution within the Transport Ministry budget.AGERPRES(RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Maria Voican, editor: Simona Iacob)

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