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2020.05.20 09:23

Lithuania must revise its budget law, central bank chief says

Lithuania's government should revise the budget law after significantly altering its spending plans in response to the coronavirus crisis, insists central bank chief Vitas Vasiliauskas.

“It's important to put all measures into the budget. In other words, without a budget revision, the so-called additional budget for this year, in our opinion, it would be hard to move forward,” he told members of parliament on Tuesday.

Read more: Lithuania unveils €6.3bn 'DNA of the Future' economic stimulus plan

The budget law needs to be updated, because the government has upped its spending, while revenue has gone down due to the coronavirus-induced economic crisis.

“Without budget corrections, to our mind, it would be difficult to move forward in a parliamentary republic. Therefore, we are saying that all of those expenditure and revenue measures should be reflected in an amended budget [law],” Vasiliauskas said.

He later told BNS that the right thing would have been to revise the budget in March, when the Lithuanian parliament approved a higher borrowing cap of 5 billion euros for economic stimulation. But, he said, it is never too late to amend the law.

Read more: Lithuanian government looks at 12-percent shortfall in planned revenue this year

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka have said, however, there's no need at the moment to revise the budget.

On Tuesday, the Finance Ministry unveiled a 6.3-billion-euro economic stimulus plan to be implemented over the coming year and a half.