An expert IMF team will arrive in Romania on January 21 to review the stand-by agreement with the domestic authorities, the Fund's resident representative Guillermo Tolosa said quoted by Agerpres. The mission will leave Romania on February 5 . Romania wants to have the second quarterly review done and also to complete the first review that was left open after President Traian Basescu blocked the government's attempt to hike the car fuel excise tax. The Fund's experts will discuss the recent economic developments and the budget planning for this year after the postponement of the planned car fuel excise tax hike. The car fuel excise tax turned into a hot topic after Pr esident Basescu ruled out such a move and refused to endorse the agreement reached by the government with the Fund under the first review of the SBA last autumn. The issue of car fuel excise tax is not yet settled between the President and the government, since the former keeps advocating against it while the executive accepts only temporary postponement. The postponement bought however time for the government, which was thus able to have the 2014 budget planning endorsed. Government officials claim that the three-month postponement would not put at risk the country's budget planning for this year. President Basescu advocates that the better use of EU funds would make the excise tax hike unnecessary on long term. IMF will probably insist on identifying the sources to offset the calculated drop in budget revenues after the excise tax hike postponement.
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