Turkey passes tight budget in line with pledges to IMF
The Turkish parliament approved on Wednesday, December 12 the country's 2002 budget, based on tight spending in line with reform pledges in return for fresh cash from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The budget was endorsed as an IMF team continued talks here with Turkish officials over strengthened economic reforms, for which Ankara is hoping to receive IMF support of $10 billion (11.1 billion euros) in new loans.
The government has said that nearly half of the 2002 expenditures of 98,100 trillion liras ($67 billion, 76 billion euros) will go for interest payments, which are put at 43,000 trillion liras. The budget is designed to show a deficit of 27,000 trillion liras. Revenues are set at 71,100 trillion liras ($49 billion), with about one billion dollars coming from privatization.
The IMF has praised Turkey's reform efforts and has said it will consider the release of fresh money for the country to help in closing a financial gap of $10 billion that emerged from the economic fallout of the terror attacks in the United States. By the end of 2001, Turkey will have already received $15.7 billion from the IMF and the World Bank under existing deals.
Ankara and the IMF agreed on a tight recovery plan in May as a replacement for an earlier scheme that collapsed amid severe financial turmoil in February. The crisis, which erupted in the banking sector, sent the economy into one of the worst recessions in Turkey's modern history, pushing inflation up and causing the lira to lose some 50 percent against the dollar. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)