Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste told the Cabinet on Friday that the fight against the pandemic had its price hence this year’s general government deficit should reach 8.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and exceed the target established in the existing budget by 1.4 percentage points.

General government debt should increase to 52.3 percent of GDP this year, from 47.3 percent in late 2020, and should stabilize at 58.1 percent in 2023 and 2024, the minister said.

“Our goal is not to cross the 60 percent Maastricht threshold,” Skaiste said.

The government on Friday approved a draft revised state budget of 2021, which would now be handed over to the Seimas.

Pursuant to the draft, the annual revenue of Lithuania's 2021 state budget, including EU and other international assistance funds, should amount to 11.824 billion euros, whereas expenditure should reach 16.573 billion euros. The deficit should total 4.749 billion euros and exceed the figure provided in the existing budget by 159.436 million euros, or 3.5 percent.

The government planned to work out a general government debt management strategy in the first quarter of 2022, Skaiste said adding that a decreasing debt trend was expected to become visible from 2025.