In the course of the 38th sitting, on 20 October 2023, the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending held its Second Public Hearing with the topic “Presentation of the Republic of Serbia 2024 Budget Bill and the Bill on the Republic of Serbia 2022 Budget Final Financial Statement”.
The bills were presented by Minister of Finance Sinisa Mali who said that the Republic of Serbia 2024 Budget Bill envisages further growth and development of the Republic of Serbia, with a special emphasis on improving the living standards of the citizens, through further increases in pensions, salaries in the public sector and minimum wages. He said that pensions are expected to increase by 14.8%, salaries in the public sector by 10% and the minimum wage by 17.8%, starting 1 January 2024.
The Minister said that the estimated growth rate in the budget for the next year is 3.5% and the economy is expected to experience a 2 to 2.5% growth, bringing the GDP to 68 billion euros. The Minister reminded the attending that ten years ago, the GDP was only 33.4 billion euros, that is, lower by a half.
The Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Jorgovanka Tabakovic said that the bills confirm the Serbian Government’s key commitment to increase the population’s living standards, increase capital investments and increase subsidies in the most important sectors, all while preserving fiscal sustainability. She emphasised that this is supported by the fact that the fiscal framework ensures a further reduction of the fiscal deficit and the share of public debt in GDP. The Governor said that the projected fiscal deficit of 2.2% GDP and the projected share in the public debt of 51.7% GDP at the end of 2024 are movements in the right direction. She also added that inflation will already be 8% in October and that the expected inflation in 2024 will range from 4 to 5%.
The President of the Fiscal Council Dr Pavle Petrovic and the Director of the Republic Statistical Office, Dr Miladin Kovacevic also spoke on the Republic of Serbia 2024 Budget Bill.
The Bill on the Republic of Serbia 2022 Budget Final Financial Statement was presented by the President of the Council of the State Audit Institution Dusko Pejovic, which was followed by a discussion.
In his closing speech, the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending Veroljub Arsic thanked all the participants who helped the members of the Committee to better understand the topic of the public hearing.