March 18, 2020 / 3:15 PM / 13 days ago

Czech finance ministry to rework budget within days to widen deficit

PRAGUE, March 18 (Reuters) - The Czech Finance Ministry will rework 2020 budget plans within days to include a higher deficit in response to losses brought by the spread of the new coronavirus, Finance Minister Alena Schillerova said on Wednesday.

Schillerova, in a Twitter post, said the higher deficit would be covered through regular bond issuance and that the budget, which will lose out on expected tax income, was also counting on redistribution of European funding and savings.

Transfers to people and loans to businesses will also cost the budget, she said, adding “these tens of billions of crown will help maintain high employment and income certainty.”

The government had approved a central state budget with a planned deficit of 40 billion crowns ($1.60 billion). ($1 = 25.0140 Czech crowns) (Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet)

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