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Serbia flag 400BELGRADE: Lawmakers in Serbia adopted a 2013 budget on Saturday, pledging to slash the deficit to 3.3 percent of national output and return the economy to growth of 2 percent as the government seeks new IMF funding.


The 2013 consolidated budget sets revenues at 956.4 billion dinars ($11.12 billion) and spending at 1,078 billion dinars.


The Balkan country is running a budget shortfall this year of around 6.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as seen in the revised budget, while public debt has ballooned to 60 percent. GDP is forecast to contract 2 percent in 2012.


The government, a coalition of nationalists and socialists, is trying to secure a three-year precautionary loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which froze a 1 billion euro ($1.30 billion) standby deal in January due to over-spending.


Like much of the western Balkans, Serbia has slid back into recession this year on declining trade and investment from the crisis-hit euro zone and a harvest devastated by drought. The country expects public debt to peak in 2013 at 65.2 percent of GDP.


Copyright Reuters, 2012

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012

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