December 8, 2013 / 11:51 AM / 4 years ago

Bosnian Serb opposition walks out as parliament approves 2014 budget

* Opposition walks out of parliament; unions protest outside

* Says budget did not clearly set out deficit, debt

* Budget passed in emergency session to meet IMF deadline

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Bosnia's autonomous Serb Republic approved a budget for 2014 late on Saturday after opposition deputies walked out in protest at what they said were unclear proposals being pushed through in an emergency parliamentary session.

Each one of Bosnia's state and regional governments had to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deadline of Dec. 9 to secure new funds and approve a larger stand-by loan.

Bosnia's two regions, the Federation dominated by Muslim Bosniaks and Croats, and the Serb Republic, urgently need the cash to plug soaring deficits in their 2013 and 2014 budgets.

The Federation passed a 2014 budget on Friday. The national parliament, comprising deputies from both regions, has yet to set a date for the vote on next year's budget.

A delay in its adoption may cause problems with the disbursement of a new 48 million euro ($66 million) installment under an IMF two-year 385 million euro loan, and its extension and enlargement by additional 150 million euro.

The IMF has asked that Bosnia's consolidated deficit of government budgets should meet a 2 percent target in 2014.

Serb Republic opposition deputies said that the budget of 2 billion Bosnian marka (1 billion euro) did not clearly set out the size of its deficit and how it will be covered.

The budget revenues were projected at 1.62 billion marka and spending at 1.53 billion marka. Debt payments amounted to nearly 490 million. Long-term borrowing, including the IMF funds, was 245 million and short-term borrowing 45 million.

Trade unions for public sector workers, including teachers and policemen, protested on Saturday outside parliament demanding their wages be raised 5 percent. The government cut the wages of public employees last year.

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