2018 State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria: BICA’s Position

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In a letter to the mass media, the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association expressed its position on the State Budget Project of the Republic of Bulgaria for the year of 2018.

BICA’s position focuses mainly on the projected budget parameters for 2018, and the policies of the Bulgarian government envisaged. It is consistent with the business recommendations that have already been made with regards to the 2018 Budget aiming to improve the Bulgarian business environment.

According to the Association, Bulgarian economy might grow at a rate of between 3.8 and 4.2% in 2018.

The projected GDP growth could be achieved and exceeded if the government directs systematic efforts to address the core business problems.

BICA approves and supports the tendency of maintaining a low share of funds reallocated from the state budget.

BICA believes that the state should strive for a complete balancing of public finances, and even in the context of a rising economic cycle and accelerated economic growth, employers would support a state budget with a planned surplus that would be directed at reducing government debt.

Employers strongly oppose the administrative increase of the minimum insurance thresholds for 2018 by 3.9%, recommending a more gradual increase in the minimum insurance income for farmers and tobacco growers.

According to BICA, the increase оf minimal insurance income, determined by the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, is without logical economic argumentation and with proven and assessed negative impact on the labor market, employment, unemployment will undoubtedly lead to an increase of the “gray economy” in the labor relations, as well to a decrease in the net income of thousands employed in a number of economic activities.

BICA notes that the roll-out of e-services and the creation of a functional e-government are dramatically late and that the scope of e-services is in fact extremely limited, despite the amount of money earmarked for the purpose.

The Association insists on formulating and financing policies for the introduction of e-Justice, e-health, digitalisation of the cadastre, etc.

According to BICA, the deployment of e-services and the establishment of a functional e-government will undoubtedly reduce the administrative burden on business and citizens, will reduce corruption and the staff in the state administration. Goals that each government puts in the preparation of the state budget for the next year and which have not been achieved for 27 years.