The budget marathon for 2019 kicked off in the Parliament yesterday with Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak's presentation at the Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission. The budget deficit is estimated to stand around TL 80.6 billion and it will make up 1.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). In his presentation, Minister Albayrak stated that the government will allocate TL 65.1 billion for investments while continuing to support innovative and productive investments of the private sector. The 2019 budget will see a more than 20 percent decrease in the resources allocated to investment expenditures as last year's figure was TL 88 billion.
This decrease is expected to solidify economic rebalancing and ensure tight fiscal policies.
A total of TL 961 billion will be generated in budget expenditures, Albayrak said, while revenues are expected to total to TL 880.4 billion. The tax revenues will amount to TL 765.5 billion and non-interest expenditures are expected to be TL 843.7 billion.
The individual pension system (BES) will receive TL 19.4 billion from the 2019 budget, the minister said.
"We are increasing the [budget's] share for education to TL 161 billion in 2019. The resources we allocated to education will make up 17 percent of the total budget. The health expenditures will receive TL 157 billion."
The treasury and finance minister stressed that the tight monetary and fiscal policies will be implemented in accordance with the New Economic Program to manage the economic rebalancing process in the most correct fashion.
The government, he added, will follow a course of sustainable growth that will minimize the risks ensuing from current account and external financing needs.
Minister Albayrak highlighted the government's expectation for a surplus in the current account, except for in gold and energy imports.
Without increasing tax rates, increases in tax revenues will also be observed, Albayrak added.
A 20 percent decrease in capital expenditures on average will make great contributions to economic rebalancing.
"We are going to implement our revenue policies to ensure [the] necessary fiscal room for macroeconomic balancing in 2019," Albayrak said.
Turkey's central government budget balance posted a deficit of TL 56.7 billion ($12.35 billion) from January to September. During the same period, budget expenditures rose 23.6 percent to TL 603.5 billion ($131.5 billion).
The budget balance, excluding interest payments, saw a surplus of TL 3.7 billion ($800 million) from January to September. Official figures showed that tax revenues rose 19.2 percent to reach nearly TL 459.4 billion (around $100 billion), while interest payments were TL 60.4 billion ($13.2 billion) over the same period.