Parliament votes State Budget Bill by separate articles; annexes now in for debate

The Parliament plenum adopted on Monday evening the articles of the 2021 State Budget Bill; the annexes thereto, including the one with the budgets of the main budget managing entities - ministries, authorities, agencies and other institutions - are next for debate. None of the amendments to the 57 articles of the bill was approved, with the articles clearing the plenum in the version penned by the government. Social Democrat Senator Gabriela Firea, who backed an amendment to Article 45 providing for doubling the child allowances, played a recording from the 2019 debate on the then budget bill put together by the PSD government, in which Liberal deputies Raluca Turcan and Robert Sighiartau proposed the doubling of allowances. However, PSD's amendment was defeated 183 to 227 and two abstentions. Social Democrat leader Marcel Ciolacu advocated in plenum an amendment according to which CEC BANK was supposed to get a loan of up to 1,400,000,000 lei, but this was also rejected by vote. Another failed amendment was the one backed by the parliamentary group of the Alliance for the Unity of Romanians regarding the grant this year of holiday vouchers in an amount equal to that of 2020. After the adoption of the bill by separate articles, the lawmakers took a half an hour break before the start of debates on the annexes to the budget bill. The maximum time allowed for debating the articles and annexes is set at 600 minutes. The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate convened today in a joint session to debate the 2021 state budget bill and the social security budget. The final vote is due on Tuesday. AGERPRES (RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Andreea Rotaru; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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