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The State Budget

The Ministry of Finance directed the formulation of a detailed annual state budget, which was submitted to the GNA for approval and enactment into law. In theory, budget allocations took into account the analyses performed by the branch coordinating councils, the various ministries, their subordinate centrale and enterprises, and the executive committees of judet and municipal people's councils. But in reality, as the instrument for financing the Unitary National Socioeconomic Plan, the state budget was under Ceausescu's firm control. The Council of Ministers had responsibility for supervising its implementation. The state budget typically was approved in December and went into effect on January 1, the beginning of the fiscal year (see Glossary), with expected revenues precisely offsetting authorized expenditures. Actual revenues and expenditures realized during the preceding year were officially announced at the same time, and the balance was carried over into the new state budget. Revenue estimates were set at the minimum level, while expenditures represented absolute ceilings. Consequently, budget surpluses were not unusual, particularly during the austere 1980s, when the top economic priority was elimination of the foreign debt. For example, a total surplus of 102 billion lei (for value of the leu--see Glossary) was accumulated during the years 1980-84, and in 1987 alone a 53.2 billion lei surplus was registered.

The consolidated state budget was divided into national and local budgets. In 1989 local budget revenues were forecast to be 25,446.8 million lei, while expenditures were set at only 14,078.7 million lei. The surplus of more than 11 billion lei was to be transferred to the national treasury to finance "society's overall development," a euphemism for centrally controlled capital investment at the expense of consumer goods and services.

Data as of July 1989