Increase in State Budget Expected

YEREVAN (Azg)-Armenia’s Minister of Finance–Levon Barkhoudarian–said that–according to a revised state budget for 1997–a 31 percent increase is expected when compared to last years budget.

Barkhoudarian said that the same deficiency as last year is expected in 1997 when considering a six percent increase of the Gross National Product.

The first version of the budget–proposed in November– provided for a 40 percent increase in income–which the Central Bank considered unreal.

Barkhoudarian said that the income of the state budget for 1996 was implemented by 96-97 percent. At the same time–8.7 percent inflation was reported–instead of the expected 14 percent. The inflation rate will probably be within 9.5-10.5 percent range in 1997.

A $250 million income is expected in 1997–with $326 million in expenses. The money will mainly be used for the development of the social sphere and particularly healthcare. A 31 percent increase of wages is expected in the coming year. Salaries of teachers will increase by 30 percent. The minister said that the increase of income will mainly be provided by taxes. It is expected that the income tax paymen’s will increase by 30 percent as a result of the changes in the taxation system.

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