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Tunisia: 2013 budget increases by 3.1%

The state budget for the next year (2013) will reach 26 billion 342 million dinars, against 25 billion 401 million dinars in 2012, i.e. up 3.1%, announced Acting Minister of Finance Slim Besbes.

In an interview granted to TAP news agency, he said the aim is to achieve a growth rate of around 3.5% and keep the budget deficit at 5.9% against 6.6% for this year.

Forecasts are based on own resources of the state of the order of 19 billion 525 million dinars and a volume of external debt of about 6.817 billion dinars.

12% increase in payroll

The acting finance minister also stated that payroll included in the management spending will post a significant increase, reaching almost 9,802 MTD, up 12% compared to the budget of the current year.

This rise, explains Slim Besbes, is mainly due to the increase in wages, in addition to the impact of planned recruitment in the public service for the year 2012. Under the 2013 budget, 19,000 jobs are scheduled in the public sector, he said.

With regard to spending on subsidy, the minister indicated that there will be at this level and for the first time a decrease to 3,900 MTD in 2013, against 4,226 MTD planned under the initial and updated budget for 2012.

During 2010, the compensation budget has reached 1,500 MTD and was at 2,400 MTD 2011.

Development expenditure will reach 5,500 MTD against 6,400 MTD according to estimates of the supplementary finance law of 2012, says the minister.

On another level, the minister noted that the level of debt service for the next year will be higher compared to previous years because there will be a payment of external debts of around 4,220 MTD against 4,139 MTD in 2012 and 3,600 MTD in 2011.

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