A number of members of parliament have criticized the government statement regarding the draft state budget for 2020, with some saying the numbers provided are not correct and are imaginary. There were also sharp criticisms of the major increases to the deficit and the lack of a tax system that achieves justice for citizens.
Parliament devoted its session to discussing the financial statement for the coming general budget put forward by Finance Minister Mamoun Hamdan.
Interventions from some MPs were severe and long, some of them lasting more than 20 minutes, with time not restricted for MPs when presenting interventions around the government statement.
The draft budget for 2020 noted an increase of 514.61 billion Syrian pounds.
The statement attributed the deficit to an increase in estimated allocations in the 2020 draft budget at an amount higher than the estimated revenues, as well as the provision of new jobs, and the allocations necessary to improve work in public entities.
There was also an increase in allocations for investment projects after an improvement in the security situation and in light of the importance of these projects and their high priority to push forward the wheel of national production and to spur economic growth after years of recession imposed by the war on Syria. The increase in budget allocations was estimated at 118 billion pounds, while general revenues decreased by 397.22 billion pounds, which pushed up the estimated deficit for the 2020 above that expected in the 2019 budget.
The statement said that the increase in the deficit accorded with government plans to increase public spending to mobilize production and spur economic growth, as well as to increase investment allocations to activate the economic cycle, and thus the gradual recovery of the national economy, meaning the government described the 2020 budget as expansionary.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.