State budget deficit of Uzbekistan reaches almost 20 trillion soum


In the first quarter of 2024, the state budget deficit of Uzbekistan exceeded 19.8 trillion soum (about US$1.56 billion), according to data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uzbekistan.

This figure was 1.7 times higher than the same period of last year and almost 20 times higher than the same figure for 2022.

In January 2024, the deficit amounted to 5.8 trillion soum, in February to 7.2 trillion soum, and in March to 6.8 trillion soum.

Compared to the first quarter of last year, budget revenues increased by 6.8% to 50.5 trillion soum, and expenses by 19.3% - to 70.4 trillion soum.

For 2024, state budget revenues are estimated at 270.4 trillion soum, and expenses at 280.7 trillion soum. The deficit is projected at 10.3 trillion soum.

In 2023, the consolidated budget deficit of Uzbekistan amounted to a record 59 trillion soum (more than US$5 billion), which significantly exceeded previous figures.

Ensuring macroeconomic stability in Uzbekistan is recognized as a priority among reforms in strategic directions for 2024, according to First Deputy Adviser to the President Timur Ishmetov.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance held a discussion on the implementation of the presidential decree of March 4 on priority reform measures in 2024 in 10 main areas.

During the event, Timur Ishmetov emphasized that the ultimate goal of all current and future reforms is to improve the well-being of the population, and this is achieved through ensuring macroeconomic stability and developing the rule of law.

The main point in the resolution on priorities for 2024 is the establishment of a threshold value for the consolidated budget deficit of no more than 4% of GDP. This is done in order to ensure macroeconomic stability and increase confidence in it this year.

Ishmetov also announced plans to assess macro-fiscal risks together with the International Monetary Fund and develop appropriate macro-maneuvers to mitigate their impact. It is also planned to develop a strategy for improving the public financial management system for the period from 2025 to 2030.

In order to achieve macroeconomic stability, it is planned to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP by 2025 and not exceed this limit in subsequent years. Ishmetov also noted the need to expand and improve fiscal rules and control over the effectiveness of spending budget funds.

An important aspect is also the increase in tax revenues in Uzbekistan. He noted that after the work done with the IMF, it became clear that there is an opportunity to increase tax revenues in Uzbekistan and it is possible to provide additional revenues in the amount of 1% of GDP per year in the medium term by expanding the tax base and improving tax administration.

Timur Ishmetov also emphasized the need to conduct all public procurement in the form of a tender and reduce the share of direct procurement, which helps to increase the efficiency of budget expenditures and create ample opportunities for private entrepreneurs.

In conclusion, he noted that all reforms undertaken are aimed at ensuring macroeconomic stability, which is the basis for sustainable economic growth and improving the well-being of the population.

Reported by the Uzbekistan Daily.