ANKARA(AVRUPA TIMES)-Turkey’s government ran a 6.6 billion Turkish lira ($2.4 billion) budget deficit in March, the country’s Finance Minister said on Friday. The deficit was 200 million liras lower compared to a 6.8-billion lira deficit in March last year, Naci Agbal said. Government revenue in March stood at 46.8 billion Turkish liras ($16.4 billion) – an 11.4 percent increase year-on-year. Budget expenditure was 40.3 billion Turkish liras ($14 billion), up 22.3 percent from a year earlier.
“The budget performance in the first three months clearly indicates the government’s determination to maintain fiscal discipline,” Agbal said.
The central government budget shows a surplus of 46 million Turkish liras ($16 million) in the first three months of the year.
According to the ministry, the Turkish government’s budget revenue reached 131.7 billion Turkish liras ($45.9 billion) in the first three months of the year, which was a 16.4 percent increase compared with the same period last year.
Tax revenue also increased by 12.7 percent within the period to 108.5 billion liras ($38 billion). Budget expenditure between January-March rose to 131.7 billion Turkish liras ($46 billion), marking an 11 percent increase year-on-year.
Interest expenses stood at 16.5 billion liras ($5.76 billion) in that period, a decrease of nine percent.
In 2016, the Turkish Finance Ministry estimated that budget expenses for the fiscal year would reach 570.5 billion Turkish liras ($198 billion), while budget income would reach 540.8 billion ($187.5 billion), resulting in a budget deficit of 29.7 billion Turkish liras ($8.6 billion).