Tag Archives: budget

Kazakhstan gives regional governments a development boost

SEPT. 25 (The Conway Bulletin) – Kazakhstan will spend 194.3b tenge ($547m) on developing its regions this year, economy minister Timur Suleimenov said at a government meeting. Kazakhstan has been developing a policy of boosting four key hubs — Almaty, Aktau, Shymkent and Astana — as regional growth centres.
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>>This story was published in issue 387 of The Conway Bulletin on Oct. 1 2018

Armenia increases defence spending

SEPT. 29 (The Conway Bulletin) – Armenia plans to increase its defence budget by 25% to 307b dram ($625m), media reported quoting the government’s draft 2019 budget. This increase in defence spending comes after a 17.6% increase in 2018. Armenia is still officially at war with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
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>>This story was published in issue 387 of The Conway Bulletin on Oct. 1 2018

Georgia increases tax on cigarettes, imported cars and petrol

TBILISI, DEC. 16 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) — Georgia’s Parliament has passed a bill that will increase tax on tobacco, imported cars and oil products, media reported, price rises that have irritated people already coping with a drop in economic conditions.

MPs endorsed the long-trailed tax rises when the Georgian Dream coalition government presented its 2017 budget. The extra revenue raised will help fill a gap in the government’s budget created by reforms to corporate income tax which the government approved in May. From Jan. 1 2017, tax on undistributed profits, both reinvested or retained, will be abolished, creating a 500m Lari ($178m) gap in the state budget.

The government hopes that the reduced corporation tax burden will boost foreign direct investment, an important part of the economy. The opposition, though, said the tax rises would add extra burden on families.

Zurab Chiaberashvili, a senior MP in the United National Movement said: “We have offered the government an alternative plan that would cut costs. We are trying to persuade them that their plan would impoverish hundreds of thousands of people.”

Different criteria will determine the tax increase rate for each category. The type of oil product, the age of the vehicle and type of cigarettes, filtered or unfiltered, will be the main determiners.

An extra tax for car owners, whose family’s combined income exceeds 40,000 Lari ($14,600), will be introduced.

Taxes on gambling, both real and online, will be increased too.

Zurab, a 32-year-old Tbilisi resident who owns a wine shop said the tax rises would be a problem. “The rise in the price of oil products will lead to higher prices in all sectors and people pay the consequences,” she said.

“However, our country is full of polluting and inefficient old cars. Maybe the move will push people to buy new cars in order to pay less taxes.”

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(News report from Issue No. 310, published on Dec. 23 2016)

Azerbaijani government cuts spending

DEC. 16 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) — Azerbaijan’s parliament passed a government budget for 2017 which cut spending to 16.9m manat from 18.5m manat in 2016. Azerbaijan has had to slash its spending because of a sharp fall in the price of oil which has hit government revenues hard. Oil revenues make up 75% of the government’s income. It based its 2017 budget on oil at $40/barrel.

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(News report from Issue No. 310, published on Dec. 23 2016)

 

Georgia unveils budget for 2017

DEC. 15 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) — Georgia’s government unveiled a budget for 2017 that increased taxes on cigarettes, cars, alcohol and oil products to offset a planned drop in corporate tax and a rise in social spending. The increase in spending is designed to propel Georgia through a deep economic downturn. The ministry of labour, health and social affairs, by far the most heavily financed government ministry, will get a boost of around 6% and the budget for the ministry of infrastructure and regional development jumps by a third.

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(News report from Issue No. 309, published on Dec. 16 2016)

Uzbekistan adopts budget deficit

DEC. 13 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) — Uzbekistan’s Senate adopted a government budget for 2017 with a deficit of around 1%, media reported. This is the second consecutive year that Uzbekistan has said that it will run a budget deficit and points to a new, and entirely relative, openness. Uzbekistan, like its neighbours, is having to deal with a sharp economic downturn. Uzbek economic data is notoriously unreliable.

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(News report from Issue No. 309, published on Dec. 16 2016)

Armenia’s parliament approves new tax code

OCT. 4 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) – In a third and final reading, Armenia’s parliament approved a controversial new tax code that has been in the works for two years. The new code will reduce the income tax bracket for most of Armenia’s working population, liberalise VAT and tax dividends. Critics of the reform have said that the new tax code will push Armenia into a recession.

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(News report from Issue No. 299, published on Oct. 7 2016)

Centerra Gold pays tax to Kyrgyz government

SEPT. 9 2015 (The Conway Bulletin) — Toronto-listed Centerra Gold, owner of the Kumtor gold mine in east Kyrgyzstan, has paid 4.3 trillion som (around $65m) in taxes to the Kyrgyz government in the first 8 months of 2015, the ministry of finance said. In 2014, Centerra accounted for 7.4% of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP.

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(News report from Issue No. 247, published on Sept. 11 2015)

Kazakhstan cuts national budget

JUNE 6 2013 (The Conway Bulletin) — Kazakhstan’s parliament reduced the 2013 state budget by 4% because of low prices for metal and other mining exports. Metals have become an important part of Kazakhstan’s export earnings over the past few years but a global recession and sanctions against Iran, previously a major customer, have hit earnings.

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(News report from Issue No. 138, published on June 10 2013)