Cabinet approves revised budget

The cabinet approved the revised draft budget for 2002 at its meeting on Monday. The draft proposes revenues of 702 billion crowns and expenditures of 748 billion crowns, and a deficit of 46 billion. The original version included a deficit of 52 billion and was rejected by the lower house two weeks ago. The main objections to the proposed budget were unrealistic revenue expectations and excessive deficit. The House asked the government to present a new proposal within twenty days and approved a set of recommendations for the government to observe when drafting the new version of the state budget.

The new draft gives an extra 2 billion crowns to universities, 1 billion to the regions and 1.5 billion to selected ministries for funding tightened security measures.

Although the budget now is more politically acceptable, economic experts and opposition politicians alike say it has not improved from the macroeconomic point of view.

Ivan Pilip is a former Finance Minister and now an MP for the opposition Four Party Coalition: