ASHGABAT (TCA) — Government revenues in Turkmenistan are to decrease by 8 billion manats in 2018, the independent website Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported with reference to the state information agency TDH.
TDH reported that on November 25 the Mеjlis of Turkmenistan (Parliament) adopted the country’s state budget for 2018, and the state budget revenues in 2018 will amount to 95.508 billion manats ($27.3 billion using the official rate or about $11.2 billion at the black market rate). This is 8 billion manats less ($2.3 billion using the official rate or about $0.94 billion at the black market rate) compared with the 2017 budget.
Over the past few years Turkmenistan has had a budget deficit with expenditures exceeding revenues. This year the spending statistics were not published and the state information agency reported that spending is envisaged at “the same volume as revenues”.
According to TDH, the funding of the social sphere next year should be not less than 75-80 percent of the total spending of Turkmenistan’s state budget.
2018 will see further “considerable capital investments” in urban development programs and construction of “important social and cultural facilities” in Ashgabat, Avaza and the country’s provinces.
After a routine visit of IMF experts to Turkmenistan, they recommended that Turkmenistan “considerably reduce public investment expenditures”.
In an interview to Chronicles of Turkmenistan the finance expert Khadaiberdy Orazov referred not only to social benefits but also to the construction of various facilities as public investments and assumed that the authorities would not save on construction projects and cut the costs by abolishing various benefits and cutting public sector jobs.
Turkmenistan is experiencing an economic downturn caused by decreasing revenues from the export of natural gas, the international prices of which have also decreased.