Slovakia ranked 15th among 100 countries surveyed in a budget transparency poll in 2012, according to an analysis carried out by the Centre for Economic and Social Analysis MESA 10 as part of the Open Budget Initiative (OBI).
Obtaining 67 out of a possible 100 points, Slovakia jumped 13 places higher when compared to the previous ranking, in 2010, the TASR newswire wrote. The country thereby overtook other countries in the region, including Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. However, there are still numerous problems with the country's budgetary policy, analysts said.
MESA 10 economists concluded that Slovakia has carried out several positive changes concerning adjustments to the structure of the budget over the past two years. "The introduction of fiscal rules for the public debt, along with the setting up of a fiscal council, has also contributed towards this positive trend," said the centre's analyst Radovan Kavický, as quoted by TASR. He added that the fiscal council may contribute significantly toward increased supervision of public resources in the foreseeable future if it is given greater powers.
Meanwhile, remaining shortcomings are mainly associated with the lack of detailed information on planned changes ushered in by the government and their effect on public expenditure, as well as insufficient reporting on how the budget is progressing during the year. Other problems concern the structure of the public debt, along with the financial and non-financial assets of the state, said Kavický. He added that future budgetary proposals should not be backed only by a single macroeconomic prognosis. A number of possible scenarios in terms of economic developments, including their potential effects on the public finances, should also be taken into account.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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24. Jan 2013 at 14:00