The Turkish government will present a supplementary budget for this year to parliament within 10 days, finance minister Sumer Oral said on Monday, May 28. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Economy Minister Kemal Dervis, Oral said the final details of the budget, which he aimed to bring into law by June 15, were still being worked out.
Oral said the supplementary budget, made necessary by a financial crisis in February, include measures to raise the primary surplus, or surplus before interest payments, by 7,500 trillion lira ($6.74 billion). This would allow it to meet the target of 5.4 percent of gross national product this year. Turkey's original 2001 budget set a primary surplus target of 11,444 trillion lira.
Treasury sources said the supplementary budget would raise the amount budgeted for interest payments by 20,000 trillion lira. The original budget had set interest expenditure at 16,677 trillion lira, so the increase would make a total for the year of 36,677 trillion.
Turkey was forced to float the lira on February 22, abandoning a crawling currency peg that had been the centerpiece of a three-year IMF-backed disinflation program. The lira has since lost nearly 40 percent of its value against the dollar, but its slide has been arrested by a new package of loans from the IMF and World Bank to support a rescue program involving tough reforms.
Oral said last week that under the new budget, Turkey would spend 95 percent of all tax revenue this year on debt interest payments. ― (Reuters, Ankara)
© Reuters 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)