Economy to be top agenda after referendum in Turkey: Minister

Economy to be top agenda after referendum in Turkey: Minister

Economy to be top agenda after referendum in Turkey: Minister

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Economic issues will be a top priority after Turkey’s referendum on April 16, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal has said, adding that new measures to give a further boost to the Turkish economy would be discussed. 

Speaking to Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in Ankara on April 13, Ağbal said the government’s previously launched measures had already given yields. 

“By April 17, the economy will be the top agenda for Turkey’s political scene. We will discuss fresh measures to maintain economic growth in 2017 and 2018,” said Ağbal. 

“The economy will have two main pillars: the first one is structural reform, the second is new support and incentives to further strengthen economic recovery. We have seen the positive results of the measures,” he said.        

The measures will positively impact the exchange rate, interest rates, economic growth and capital inflow after April 16, he added.        

According to Ağbal, the budget realizations were in parallel to the targets in a “controlled manner.”

“The measures that were launched by us to boost the economic growth in the first months of the year and some delays in premium payments will create an upward impact in the March budget expenses, but this trend will reverse especially in the final months of the year,” he added. 

“We will never give up on fiscal discipline,” he said.        

Tax restructuring plan

Ağbal also said the government would continue to restructure 70 billion Turkish Liras in taxes and social security premiums. 

“We will send a draft law about the new restructuring plan after April 16. We will likely start to accept applications by May,” he added. 

The new structuring plan will offer installment opportunities of up to 36 months as well as cash payments. 

“We will make temporary tax reductions until September. Then, we will end this implementation,” added Ağbal. 

According to Ağbal, there has been around a 40 percent increase in home appliances sales and 15 percent increase in furniture sales after tax reductions were implemented in these areas in February. 

The minister also said the Turkish economy’s recovery in the last quarter of last year came on the back of government incentives and support.     

The Turkish economy expanded at a rate of 3.5 percent in the last quarter and at 2.9 percent in 2016, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).    

The country has recently seen an improvement in loan volume, production levels, employment and exports, Ağbal said.

Ağbal also said the loss in the lira’s value and increasing food prices had had a significant impact on the rise in inflation rate. 

“We will start to see a downward trend here in the upcoming months. The Food Committee will also take the required decisions to ease the prices,” he added.