Turkish parliament gets ready for 2019 budget marathon

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish parliament is getting ready for 2019 budget marathon that will last at least two months.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is set to present the nation's first budget under the new presidential system to the parliament's Planning and Budget Commission on Tuesday.

The budget will be debated in the committee until Nov. 22.

The debate will continue at the general assembly in early December, where a heated exchange is expected ahead of upcoming local elections on March 31.

Emrullah Isler, head of the parliament’s Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Committee, on Monday expressed his "pleasure" for the amount of share the budget has reserved for education expenses.

Isler said that the share allocated to education has fractionally increased since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development (AK) Party came to power in 2002.

"The share that was allocated to education was 6.95 percent in 2002. With the increasing general budget, the share allocated to education increased to 12 percent in 2019," Isler told Anadolu Agency.

"The size of the share allocated to the education has made us happy," he said.

The 2019 budget aims to share 114 billion Turkish liras for education expenses.

Turkey targets 949 billion Turkish lira in expenditures for public agencies and 867.29 billion Turkish lira in general revenue in 2019.

The Turkish economy grew by 5.2 percent in April-June period, preceded 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018, 7.3 percent in Oct.-Dec. 2017, and 11.5 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

Ankara targets 3.5 percent growth in 2020 and 5 percent by 2021, according to the new economic program announced by Albayrak on Sep. 20.