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IN SHORT OF BUSINESS

Ministries want Sk31.5 billion extra

INDIVIDUAL ministries are demanding the increase of their budgets for next year by a total of Sk31.5 billion (€789 million) but the available budget reserve to be divided among them is only Sk8.4 billion (€210 million).

According to the private news agency SITA, this reserve could be increased by about Sk1.2 billion (€30 million) through cost cuts in the state's debt service department, but this still falls far short of the cabinet ministers' demands.

"Over the next weeks, representatives of the Finance Ministry will negotiate this issue with representatives of the ministries," said Finance Ministry Spokesman Peter Papanek told SITA.

"We want to find a rational way that the total required sum is cut to a volume that is in line with what was approved in the outline of the state budget for 2005 and the fiscal deficit is kept at the agreed level of 3.4 percent of the assumed gross domestic product," Papanek added.

The Transport Ministry is demanding the largest amount of all sectors, almost Sk7 billion (€175 million), followed by the Education Ministry which is asking for Sk4.2 billion (€105 million), and the Agriculture Ministry is requesting Sk3.1 billion (€77.7 million).

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