State budget changes focus on reconstruction funds

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 14, 2019 13:20

State budget changes focus on reconstruction funds

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  • “The 2020 budget project also predicts an additional fund of 1.2 million lek for the rent bonus, so that families which have lost their homes are provided with shelter, generated by the reduction of other expenditures.”

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TIRANA, Dec. 14 - On Friday, the Commission of Economy announced the new changes in the 2020 state budget from the initial plan, which will focus on coping with the earthquake damage of November this year. According to the report on the 2020 draft state budget, the main changes apply to the reconstruction funds. The amount of these funds is projected at 20 billion lek by 2020, of which 13 billion will be financed by the state and 7 billion lek will be financed by donors.

Arben Ahmetaj, the newly decreed Minister for Reconstruction by the head of state, said that given the current situation, the draft budget will require significant changes in figures, where the main focus will be on the reconstruction fund. “These funds will be transferred to the following year, in efforts to cover all possible earthquake damage costs, whether that relates to the grants or the internal financing. The 2020 budget project also predicts an additional fund of 1.2 million lek for the rent bonus, so that families which have lost their homes are provided with shelter, generated by the reduction of other expenditures,” he stated.

Other changes in the state budget involve the VAT removal for all goods which will be used for the reconstruction of buildings destroyed by the earthquake. However, only construction companies authorized for the implementation of the reconstruction project will benefit from this relief measure. “In the framework of the reconstruction of buildings affected by the earthquake, we have proposed that all subjects and projects dealing with the reconstruction of these buildings are exempted from the VAT import. Everything will be done with the authorization by the Council of Ministers. VAT exemption needs to be accompanied by the price reduction of construction goods used in the process,” the Reconstruction minister announced.

An amount of 3 billion lek will also be allocated to the Ministry of Infrastructure as part of the expenditure plan, along with 1.5 billion lek for the Albanian Development Fund and 5 million lek for the Ministry of Agriculture. Ahmetaj stated that only the funds for healthcare will remain unaffected. The state budget for other areas and projects on the other hand, will be revised and will undergo several changes. The draft budget initially approved by the Commission is expected to be discussed by the Parliament next week for final approval.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 14, 2019 13:20