PM Ponta does not exclude tax cuts before year-end

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Asked by foreign media reporters in Bucharest whether he planned cutting taxes earlier than a previously announced window of 2016-2019, Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta said: “If we have the fiscal space, we would be stupid not to do it.”

He said in an interview for Reuters news agency on Tuesday he is confident that Romania will meet a full year fiscal deficit target of 1.8 percent agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I do not exclude at all the idea that during the year we can give incentive for economic growth. It was too soon to mention which taxes would be targeted for cuts, he said. Any fiscal measures that might be applied this year will be within the 1.8 percent agreed,” Ponta said.

Also, PM Ponta told that Romania’s finances are in good shape and that he was expecting a preliminary fiscal surplus of nearly EUR 1 billion in the first quarter.

Ponta also said the government planned initial public offerings (IPOs) for Hidroelectrica power company, the Bucharest airport and the Port of Constanta later this year.

“Based on proposals from consultants, I think (the listing stakes of) between 15-25 percent for these companies is a good strategy.”

Ponta’s government had announced plans for sweeping tax cuts in February. The proposals will be sent to parliament next week, he said, adding that Romania would convince the IMF that the cuts were sustainable.

Regarding recent crackdowns on corruption, Romanian prime minister said the domestic justice system was now “completely free” of political influence under the rule of President Klaus Iohannis.

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