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of the Republic of Bulgaria
Parliament passed on first reading the State Budget Act for 2012

The parliament passed on first reading the draft State Budget Act for 2012 with 127 votes in favor, 87 against, with no abstentions. The bill tabled by the Council of Ministers was supported by the members of the GERB parliamentary group, one member of the Ataka party and by 17 independent deputies. The votes against came on the part of the Coalition for Bulgaria group members, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the parliamentary group of the Blue Coalition and the rest of the Ataka members. While presenting the next year Budget of the state the Minister of Finance stressed that the financial stability is essential for the country’s national security and the most important factor in Europe. He noted that keeping the financial stability during the next year will be the government’s top priority.

The draft budget for 2012 of the National Health Insurance Fund, submitted by the Council of Ministers was adopted on first reading with the votes of 116 deputies, 51 voted against, there were no abstentions. The draft budget was supported by the deputies from the GERB parliamentary group, by one of the Ataka parliamentary members and 9 independent ones. Those who voted against were from the parliamentary groups of the Coalition for Bulgaria, the Blue Coalition and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. The government planning for the 2012 expenditures of the NHIF amounts to BGN 2 633 730 000. The contributions for health insurance to the NHIF are expected to be BGN 1 673 653 000. The remaining amount of BGN 941 126 000 will be transferred by the state. BGN 2 214 520 000 are to cover expenditures for health care and BGN 261 478 000 are allocated into a reserve fund for unexpected and urgent needs. The health insurance contribution for next year remains 8 %. The budget is based on the statistics of the last several years, setting the number of health insured persons at 6, 3 M and 1, 1 M uninsured. Health insured persons are required to provide evidence for paid contributions before using health services and the providers will be given access to the data base of the National Revenue Service. The draft budget for the next year foresees the expenditures for primary, specialized outpatient care and diagnostics to remain at the same level as the one of the current year. An increase in the budget for dental care, medicines and medical supplies for home treatment and for hospital care is envisaged. The increased budget for hospital care comes from the transfer of funds for certain medical services previously covered by the Ministry of Health to the NHIF. Compared to the one for 2011 the budget for 2012 of the NHIF provides less money for acquisition of non-financial assets.

The budget of the National Insurance Institute for 2012 was passed on first reading with 113 “yes” votes and 49 against. The votes in favor came on behalf of the members of the GERB parliamentary group, 9 independents and 1 MP of the Ataka parliamentary group. Members of the Coalition for Bulgaria, the Blue Coalition and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms voted against. The budget keeps the same threshold for social security contributions for the self-employed and farmers as the ones of the current year. Depending on the contributory income the threshold remains respectively at BGN 420, 500 and 550, and BGN 240 for farmers and tobacco producers. The maximum contributory insurance income remains BGN 2000. In 2012 the minimum old-age pension for pensioners with the required number of points at the normal retirement age remains 136.08 leva. According to the 2012 draft budget the minimal daily amount of the unemployment benefit is set at 7, 20 leva. The amount set under the Social Security Code for the child-rearing benefit is set at 240 leva. The draft of the consolidated budget of the State Social Security concerning the revenues and expenditures for 2012 contains the following parameters: average contributory income declared by the National Insurance Institute 622, 30 leva; number of unemployed persons receiving benefits 116 314; average number of pensioners 2 195 220.

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