The video conference of the members of the Finance Committee and the State Budget Control Select Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) with the delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) focused on the issues relating to transparency of the state budget.
Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee Maris Lauri said that the IMF delegation was interested in the economic forecasts used as the basis for drafting the state budget, and how such forecasts were taken into account.
The IMF delegation was given an overview of the state budget drafting processes and of following of the rules and taking into account expert opinions, as well as of the transparency and clarity of the state budget.
“At the meeting, we concluded that we can be satisfied with the economic forecasts and predicting the budget revenues, and with reporting,” Lauri said. She added that the greatest problem was with the expenses: the transparency and justification of the state budget revenues was weak, and essentially there was no overview of the current expenses of the state budget in a form that would enable to compare plans with the reality. “Responsible financial management means not only making plans, but also adhering to them and supervising compliance with them in order to make the necessary corrections in time. Only in this way, unexpected and huge deficits can be avoided.”
Member of the Finance Committee Aivar Sõerd said that the long-term draft budgetary plans prepared by the Government lacked the action plan and measures for reducing the budget deficit in exiting the crisis. “These measures should be developed and described by today, but this has not been done. As regards the transparency of the state budget, it is not possible to be satisfied with the current situation. Transition to activity-based budgeting has not increased, but reduced the transparency of the state budget,” Sõerd added.
Chairman of the State Budget Control Select Committee Jürgen Ligi, Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee Maris Lauri and members of the Committee Riina Sikkut, Andres Sutt and Aivar Sõerd Participated in the video conference.
The delegation if the International Monetary Fund discusses the economic policy situation of Estonia at meetings with the representatives of the public and private sector. On the basis of the consultations conducted during the IMF’s annual mission to Estonia, the IMF report assessing Estonia’s economic policies is prepared. The head of the IMF delegation at the video conference was Sage De Clerck.
Photos: (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)
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