As usual, Syria recently set a preliminary budget for the next 2023, and although it rose in Syrian pounds, it is the lowest in U.S. dollars value.
The amount allocated to this budget, and its distributions to the service and living sectors, indicate further economic stagnation and a lack of services provided to Syrians inside the country.
The fall in the value of the budget increases fears of a harsher coming year, with official statements of “controlling expenditures” to fill the budget deficit.
The Syrian Supreme Council for Economic and Social Planning approved the initial appropriations for the draft state budget for 2023, worth 16 trillion and 550 billion Syrian pounds.
If the budget is calculated on the dollar rate, it is equivalent to $ 6.6 billion if it is calculated based on the currency bulletin rate at the Central Bank of Syria but against the real price of the U.S. dollar on the black market, it is only about $ 3.2 billion, compared to about $ 4 billion in the previous budget.
The Ministry of Finance put an amount of 135 trillion and 50 billion pounds for current spending and 3 trillion pounds for investment spending. The allocations for social, and financial support amounted to about 4 trillion pounds, and 2 trillion and 114 billion pounds for salaries, wages and compensation.
50 billion pounds were allocated for social aid, 50 billion for the Agricultural Production Support Fund, one and a half trillion pounds for ration flour, 3 trillion pounds for oil derivatives and 3 trillion pounds to support rice and sugar, while electricity was absent from the subsidized services category.
The value of the budget deficit this year amounted to 4 trillion pounds and 118 billion, according to what was revealed by Syrian Finance Minister Kenan Yaghi. He said in a separate statement to the newspaper Al-Watan, “The coverage of this deficit will be through treasury bonds from the Central Bank worth 4.059 billion pounds, and through government, securities offered to Syrian banks in the amount of 800 billion pounds, and about 590 million pounds through external loans. This comes in addition to working to “reduce and manage the deficit by increasing revenues, and reducing spending is a key priority.”
Syrian economic researcher Adham Kaddamati told Al-Hal Net: “This budget is fake and not real for a country that has economic pillars to contribute to the development of the economy and achieve economic stability. Syria’s current situation is abnormal. He pointed out that this budget will not lead to securing a better life for Syrians, with conditions of weak purchasing power, poverty, the continued decline of the Syrian pound and insufficient salaries given to employees and workers.
The Minister of Finance’s statement to control expenditures indicates more poverty. There is another point related to the exchange rate of the pound, which is already changing. The amount currently set for the budget will not remain the same in the middle of next year due to the continued decline of the pound, so the budget will decrease further.
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.