Turkey’s 2021 budget is part of its efforts to bounce back from the COVID-19 fallout, Turkey’s vice president said Wednesday in the capital Ankara.

With the budget, Turkey “will begin to strongly rebound, separating us from OECD and EU averages, even though big economies were deeply impacted,” Fuat Oktay said while presenting the budget to parliament’s planning and budget committee.

The pandemic hit economies worldwide, he said.

“The size of the steps taken [in Turkey] to reinvigorate the economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak reached 371.1 billion Turkish liras [$47.4 billion], excluding loan deferrals,” Oktay said.

This budget comes to Turkey’s “rescue despite the coronavirus outbreak having halted life, production, and transportation around the globe,” he added.

The committee will debate the budget until Nov. 24.

The debate will continue in the General Assembly in early December, where heated exchanges are expected.

The vice president said that the government will allocate the lion’s share of the budget – fully 15% – to education with 211.4 billion Turkish liras ($26.5 billion).

Budget expenditures were projected at 1.346 trillion liras ($169.6 billion). Also, non-interest expenses come to 1.166 trillion liras ($147 billion).

Budget revenues were projected at 1.101 billion liras ($138.8 million) and tax revenues at 922.7 billion liras ($116.3 billion). The budget deficit for next year was predicted at 245 billion liras (nearly $31 billion).

The budget for 2021 will be the 19th budget of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party government, which first came to power in fall 2002.

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