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PM Citu: First task of the FinMin is keeping gov't deficit below 7.16% throughout the year


Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Thursday that the first task he set for the new Minister of Finance, Dan Vilceanu, is keeping the government deficit below 7.16% until the end of the year, adding that he will not accept tax increases during his tenure.

"I've completed the handover of the ministerial portfolio after 45 days of being the interim finance minister. As I said when I took over, I stayed here for almost 45 days. Some of the things that were blocked in the first part of the year have been unblocked: e-invoicing starts on September 1, the National Development Bank is being approved, a project that had been delayed far too long and that we needed very much. There is one thing I have missed that the incoming minister will have to take over: a working group that will deal with the solution for the government -run financial companies, what to do with these state-run companies moving forward, because the National Development Bank will take over many of the powers of such companies," Citu said at the Ministry of Finance, where he handed over the finance portfolio to the new minister, Dan Vilceanu.

The prime minister said another topic of discussion was fiscal consolidation.

"The thing I care about a lot - not to exceed the government deficit and to maintain our tax and budget strategy as approved at the beginning of the year, with a government deficit that will go below 3% in 2024. It is something that I have conveyed to the minister and to which I am very much attached. (...) The first task is to keep the deficit below 7.16% throughout the year and to keep within the parameters of the tax and budget strategy. That is the most important thing. And, at the same time, it is very clear that I will not accept tax increases during this tenure," Citu also said. 


 Inflation is not at a record level nor is it 5%, this being an estimate of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), Dan Vilceanu stated on Thursday, at the Ministry of Finance, thus making the first mistake even when taking over the minister's portfolio..

"No, inflation is not at a record level and it is not 5% either. 5% is an estimate of the National Bank (...) From my point of view, this should be discussed first of all with the National Bank. On the other hand, the Romanian Government has not taken any measures to generate inflation this year and here let me remind you that we have not increased employee incomes and all the measures taken were in the direction of reducing inflation and not growth, but you should know that there is no economic growth, it was not invented in the world, without having an inflationary push," said Vilceanu.

According to data published this month by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), the annual inflation rate rose to 5% in July 2021, from 3.9% in June, given that non-food goods rose by 7, 64%, services with 2.74%, and food goods with 2.33%.

The BNR recently announced that it had increased its inflation forecast to 5.6% by the end of this year and to 3.4% by the end of next year.

Dan Vilceanu took over the minister of finance portfolio on Thursday morning, from Prime Minister Florin Citu, who was the interim finance minister.