Ponta: The budget not to pass before Dec. 31; it cannot pass with a mind on Christmas

The 2013 national budget will not be approved by December 31, as the only legal obligation incumbent on the prime minister is to come up with a budget 15 days after the installation of the new government that will ensue the December 9 general election, says Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

‘According to the schedule we have designed, the new members of Parliament will be sworn in on December 20. I will be ready to come before Parliament on December 21 with the composition of the Cabinet and the governing programme and on December 22 to lodge a draft national budget with Parliament. Yet, I do not think the draft budget will be discussed and discussing it with our mind on the Christmas leave would not be a good thing. It would be normal in early January, as we have discussed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation – January 7, 8, 10 – for the delegation of the IMF, the European Commission and the World Bank to come to Bucharest to discuss the 2013 national budget, especially because it will be a multi-annually prepared one,’ said Ponta, adding that it finds it normal for the Government to be installed after the election to stay four years in office.

He said there are some European practices to this end, giving assurances that the country will not be left without a national budget.

‘So, we will discuss with the IMF and the World Bank between January 10 and January 15 and with the World Bank on January 15 to see if all the things are all right. Parliament will be convened in session only to discuss the budget. And there will be 5,7,10 days of serious budget talks. If we were to convene it for December 22, 23 you can realise that would be a mere formality. In fact, the MPs would vote without having the time to study it; I think we do not have time for that,’ Ponta argued.

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