Taking into account that June was an electoral month and many Ministers and high ranked leaders often skipped state responsabilities during working hours, we have to congratulate Minister Cani as one of the few dedicated to his job and that rarely appeared, publicly at least, during this electoral campaign (his presence was noticed only once, during the weekend).
Also, the Ministry of Finance website and Facebook profile have been active throughout the month, posting news and statements. Tax General Directorate has been publishing on the communications sites mainly debtor lists, focusing on the tax debt gathering. Meanwhile the Costums General Directorate seems totally inexistent, with zero news published during this month, worrying us with their “tranquility”: Do the Costums work? When will a final leader be appointed? What is going on with the Crown Agents?
A rising external debt
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that in the first quarter of 2015, foreign debt stock is considered at about 441.1 billion ALL or 29.57% of GDP, marking an increase by 28.7 billion ALL comparing to the end of 2014. ALL continues to be devaluated compared to currencies like SAR, AED and USD, with 13.40% for each one. Additional effect in stock from the disbursement is 10.2 billion ALL or 2.5% of the total by the end of 2014. While the addition that comes as a result of the variation of the exchange rates, is 18.6 billion ALL or 4.5%. The additional effect as a result of the variation of the exchange rates means that we deal with a devaluation of the local currency against currencies that compose the stock of foreign debt. All this shows that eventhough lek is an independent currency it depends on Euro, which is being devaluated aswell because of the Greek crisis.
In principle this addition affects the debt level only during the reports, and not necessarily has financial effects for the state budget. Exchange rates of the local currency against other currencies gain special importance during the disbursement and repayment liquidation time. However looking at the trend, Minister of Finance and Bank of Albania should consider taking precautions to defend the currency value, because at a certain point this could cause problems with liquidation management or conflict the monetary policies and create disorder of macroeconomic indocators.
P.S. Not related to the debt, but for those who are planning to go for vacations in places that use currency overestimated against the lek, should predict to spend more.
Once more dissatisfactory budgetary income
“Costums and Tax administration realized one of their worst balances in tmany years for the period January – May 2015, meanwhile budget expenses remained low taking away from the economy money for consumption and investment”. Gjergj Erebara from Reporter.al said. Of course the approach of the journalist conflicts the numbers published from the Ministry of Finance, which factualize that during the abovementioned period there was a 5.1% growth comparing to 2014. Still Erebara is right since this percentage is far way from the expected 10%, especially at a time when many taxes experienced a notable growth since Janaury 2015. Surprisingly tax and costums incomes had the worst performance exactly in those items where tax grow was higher. So, from the tax and costums income, the government is missing 11 billion ALL, and problematics were shown in excise, income tax and national tax.
Not only as part of the electoral promises from the majority, but surely even to compensate this bad performance from the income, the government has kept low costs, spending for the January – May 2015 period 14 billion ALL less then the plan. We think that a review of the budget will not be delayed, in order to face economic development with fewer incomes than the original plan.
Training fiscal administration: A good step, but is it enough?
Ministry of Finance reported that during this month Tax and Costums Administration Training Center in the first five months of 2015, have developed trainings free of charge for the tax and costums employees. The trainings have been mostly for young employees, but even for specific cases regarding knowledge about new developments in the fiscal field. The center reports that 950 employees have been trained of all functions and that at the end of the training all of them underwent the knowledge test. And this is the hottest topic of the news. If we were to analyze the curriculum, the materials distributed for study or the lecturers of these trainings, we can congratulate the center for their job. The question stands for the fact: Were the trainings followed by all of them, and if not were there provisions? What about the knowledge test, what were the subsequent steps for those who failed? Generally the process remains a good step forward, but needs to be supported on meritocracy.
1- Gazeta Shqip. Qershor 2015. Ministria e Financave: Leku eshte zhvleresuar ndaj nente monedhave.
2- Ministria e Financave. Qershor 2015. Si dhe pse u rrit borxhi i jashtem.http://www.financa.gov.al/al/njoftime/deklarata-per-shtyp/ministria-e-financave-si-dhe-pse-u-rrit-borxhi-i-jashtem&page=1
3- Ministria e Financave. Qershor 2015. Trajnim i Administrates Fiskale http://www.financa.gov.al/al/njoftime/lajme/trainimi-i-administrates-fiskale-rruga-per-mireadministrimin-dhe-rritjen-profesionale&page=1
4- Reporter.al. Qershor 2015. Qeveria deshton me te ardhurat buxhetore. http://www.reporter.al/qeveria-deshton-me-te-ardhurat-buxhetore-janar-maj-mungojne-6-6-miliarde-leke/