DUSAHNBE, November 22, Asia-Plus -- The lower house of the Tajik parliament (Majlisi Namoyandagon) has approved the state budget for 2004.

A regular sitting of the third session of the Majlisi Namoyandagon of the third convocation, presided over by its chairman, Saydullo Khairulloyev, was held on November 22.  

The bill “On the National Budget of Tajikistan for 2007” was the major topic of the meeting.  Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov noted that the national budget indicators should reflect the principles of the economic and social development in the country.  It was noted that the revenue part of the budget stands at 3.195 billion somonis and its expenditure part at 3.29 billion somonis.  The budget deficit amounts to 95.5 million somonis.  

Finance Minister Safarali Najmuddinov presenting the bill noted that the draft budget’s expenditures exceed indicators of this year’s budget by 1.026 billion somonis or 47.3 percent and its revenue part exceeds the 2006 budget indicators by 1.07 billion somonis or 48.3 percent.   The minister said that tax revenues are expected to amount to 1.69 billion somonis or 17.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), non-tax revenues will amount to 125 million somonis and grants to 33 million somonis.

In his speech, Najmuddinov also noted that it is supposed to exempt imports of electricity, natural gas, new technologies, machines, as well as some sectors of the country’s economy from a number of taxes.

”GDP growth is projected to rise 7.5 percent next year to 9.95 billion somonis (equivalent to US $3 billion), while the inflation rate is expected to be 7 percent,” the minister said, noting that one of the main features of the 2007 budget is that it includes all income resources, according to the minister.

He said state budget indicators reflect the economic and social development of the country. Social spending will account for 41% of budget allocations.  The budget projects expenditure of 506 million somonis in the education sector, which is 122 million somonis more than this year.  

            The budget earmarks 40 percent of expenditures, or 1.305 billion somonis, for energy, transport-communication system and agrarian sector.    

            The budget stipulates expenditure of 178 million somonis on the public healthcare, which 66 million somonis more than this year, according to the minister. 

“Expenditures earmarked for social protection of the population stand at 344 million somonis,” Najmuddinov said, noting that they reduced expenditures on public management.