Draft Budget for 1997 Revised

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan) — The government of Armenia has agreed to part of the 154 proposals made by the National Assembly in relation to the draft budget for 1997–according to Finance Minister Levon Barkhoudarian.

According to Barkhoudarian–projected budget revenues for 1997 were increased by 3.1 billion drams compared to the draft version submitted to Parliament on Feb. 4–totalling 117.9 billion drams. Projected budget expenditures also grew by 3.6 billion drams–totalling 151.9 billion drams.

The budget deficit makes up 33.9 billion drams–which is 496 million drams more than the deficit projected in the initial version.

Barkhoudarian said that the deficit is planned to be covered through revenues accrued as a result of privatization. Of the 3.1 billion dram increase in projected budget revenues–2.9 billion drams will be raised through revision of an expected cumulative sum of excise duties on vodka–gasoline and tobacco imports.

From the 25 proposals submitted regarding the projected budget expenditures–13 have been accepted for consideration.

Health care will receive 200 million drams more than was projected in the initial draft budget. Of this sum–171 million drams will be provided for the treatment and prevention of cancer. Twenty million drams will be used for the dissemination of information and 20 million drams for the participation of Armenia’s delegation in the World Student Games of 1997.

After reviewing all the proposals–the government will submit a final version of the draft budget to the National Assembly–which is expected to discuss it at a regular session on Feb. 17.

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