"The European economy is still in crisis. The three percent deficit is not an end in itself. We saw them in both 2021 and 2022. We have seen that our economy cannot generate large deficits and social policy can be conducted". This is what Asen Vassilev said in the program "120 Minutes" in his first interview again as Minister of Finance.
“There are collection measures in the budget to see cash on hand on a monthly basis. Imagine that there is a company that pays wages illegally. They declare a minimum wage, and the rest - cash. The company declares that it has cash on hand. The owner withdraws money from the treasury, pays a dividend of 5% and gives the wages. We will make sure that the dividend will be paid by bank transfer, the salaries of companies with more than 50 workers will be paid by bank transfer, and the third thing we do is to declare the cash register, even if it is a month and a half ago," the Minister of the finances. According to him, it will start with the largest companies. "A little order and control will be brought in for everything from a medium-sized company up," explained Asen Vassilev.
Collectability will also increase with the fight against the gray economy, Vassilev explained. He does not give up his idea that if a receipt is not issued in a restaurant, the customer has the right to leave without paying.
The collection set in the budget is also possible, Vasilev said. "I noticed, entering as a minister, that at the end of May we had a deficit of BGN 1.2 billion. At the end of June, we had a surplus of BGN 200 million. Last year there were big profits and companies paid their corporate tax. The NRA started inspections of companies that had delays. The firms were usually large'.
The Minister of Finance stressed that if the changes to the budget are accepted from August 1, we may not pay our bill at the restaurant if we do not receive a receipt.
Thanks to the policy in the budget and energy subsidies for business, we recorded a growth of 3.9%, the highest growth in exports, the second highest growth in industrial production and the highest growth in wages," he commented. According to him, inflation in Bulgaria comes from two commodity groups - food and energy prices.
"Grain continues to not be exported. What is happening with the plant in Zaporozhie represents an additional risk. The grain goes into the fodder, into the bread. Energy fell and we saw that the prices of fruits and vegetables stopped growing. If something unpleasant does not happen in Zaporozhie, the market should normalize by the fall," Vassilev pointed out.
"Roads, trains and railways - everything is secured. We have a record investment program for over BGN 8 billion. Money is not the problem. The problem is that the ministries failed to invest the money and make the orders. Of this 8 billion BGN, less than 2 billion is invested. MRRD have BGN 2.8 billion, of which only BGN 700 million have been invested. The question is whether the ministries should make their orders, choose their contractors," said the minister.
The minimum wage will increase from January 1, 2024, and it will be 50% of the average. Pensions increased from July 1 under the Swiss rule, and the same will happen in 2024. Maternity leave will be equal to the minimum wage.