Turkish Parliament begins 12-day long 2021 budget talks

Turkish Parliament begins 12-day long 2021 budget talks

Turkish Parliament begins 12-day long 2021 budget talks

The Turkish Parliament has begun discussions on the government’s 2021 budget, which focuses on tackling the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy as its priority.

“Our budget is a functional budget that is able to support our struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as reduces the inflation rates and public deficit and also increase employment and investments in line with the New Economy Program,” Vice President Fuat Oktay told the lawmakers as he introduced the details of the 2021 budget on Dec. 7.

The parliament will discuss the budgets of each ministry in 12-day marathon talks and will vote on the government’s entire budget on Dec. 18.

The fundamental mission of the 2021 budget is to ensure that the Turkish economy will move forward by taking firm and productive steps at a time when the ongoing pandemic is reshaping the global economy.

“We are passing through difficult times where the uncertainty is being observed at the highest level because of the coronavirus that has affected the entire world,” Oktay stressed, underlining that the government’s next year’s budget has been prepared under these conditions.

Oktay informed that the Turkish government had spent 562 billion Turkish Lira to support the Turkish economy against the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“We are targeting 5.8 percent growth for our economy in 2021,” he said, noting that this process was being designed in a way not to contradict the government’s efforts to fight inflation and to protect macroeconomic stability at the same time.

Oktay predicts that more than 1.5 million people will get employed, decreasing the unemployment rate to 12.9 percent in 2021, vowing that one of the fundamental objectives of the government is to reduce the inflation rate to a single digit.

“Our trade target is to reach $184 billion,” Oktay said.

The revenues of the government in 2021 are estimated to hit 1.1 trillion liras, around 13 percent more than in 2020, Oktay said, adding that the public deficit in 2020 was calculated to be 293 billion liras.