Politics, Economy

Turkey's 2019 budget meetings kick off at parliament

New budget to be major supporter of stabilization period under new economic program, says treasury and finance minister

10.12.2018
Turkey's 2019 budget meetings kick off at parliament

By Tuba Sahin

ANKARA

The first parliamentary session on Turkey's 2019 budget started on Monday.

"The 2019 budget will be the major supporter of a stabilization period under the new economic program," Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said during his budget presentation.

Albayrak said austerity measures will be among the most prominent features of next year's budget.

"Since our infrastructure investments have reached their saturation point, this has become our primary field of austerity," Albayrak said. 

He said starting from the 2019 budget, the country's resources will be channeled into investments, particularly those which will reduce the current account gap, increase exports and technological production.

Albayrak highlighted that qualified workforce is the precondition of scientific and technological developments. 

The lion share in Turkey’s 2019 budget was allocated to education with 161 billion Turkish liras ($30.5 billion), Albayrak added.

He stressed that 21 percent of total tax income will be spent on education.

"We are allocating resources of 65.1 billion Turkish liras [$12.3 billion] for investments and 32.8 billion liras [$6.2 billion] for real sector incentives in the 2019 budget," Albayrak said.

Albayrak further noted that Turkey's current account deficit was expected to drop below $36 billion in 2018.

Turkey will also post its current account surplus in October and November, he said.

According to latest data from the Turkish Central Bank (CBRT), the country's current account surplus totaled $1.83 billion in September, improving from last year's deficit of $4.4 billion.

Commenting on Turkey's economic growth rate in the third quarter, Albayrak said: "We see that the process of stabilization, which started in the second quarter, continued in the third quarter more significantly."

The third quarter figure for domestic and external conjuncture, despite negativities, have showed that Turkey maintains its strong stance and confidence building policy decision were effective.

 Turkish economy expanded by 1.6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of this year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute on Monday.

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