MINSK, 3 January (BelTA) - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed the national budget for 2018 into law on 31 December, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader. The president also put his signature to the laws on amendments and additions to the Budget Code of the Republic of Belarus and to the budget of the state off-budgetary social security fund of the Republic of Belarus in 2018.
As it was reported, the budget relies on the conservative scenario of the development for the external conditions.
In line with the document the budget is expected to receive Br20.485 billion and spend Br19.751 billion. The budget surplus is estimated at Br733.88 million and will be spent on repaying part of the state debt. The so-called top-priority expenses — salaries and transfers to the population, the servicing of the state debt, acquisition of medications and food, payments for utilities, and transfers between budgets — account for 65% of the consolidated budget. As much as Br10.6 billion or a third of the consolidated budget will be spent on salaries.
In 2018 education will get 9.6% more money than this year, healthcare 3.5% more. In money terms the consolidated budget will allocate Br5.6 billion and Br4.8 billion for education and healthcare. The next year's salary fund of the consolidated budget will exceed this year's by Br1.2 billion.
In 2018 the tax burden will not exceed 25.5% of the GDP and will not exceed the 26% threshold specified by the social and economic development guidelines for the current five-year term.
In 2018 the revenues of the off-budgetary social security fund are projected at Br13.58 billion, expenditures at Br13.393 billion. The surplus is forecast at Br188 million.
The main expenditure item of the social security fund is pensions: 75.86% or Br10.159 billion. Some Br3 billion or 22.53% of the fund's expenditure will be earmarked to finance the benefits on temporary incapacity for work, maternity and family allowances, child care, carer's allowances, allowances for funeral expenses.
The law on amendments and additions to the Budget Code of the Republic of Belarus aims to optimize the budgetary process, enhance the openness of the budget consideration procedures to the society and the media. In addition, it will contribute to the creation of a clear system of monitoring the receipt of non-tax budget revenues through the legal recognition of the institute of budget revenue administrator.More about Economy