Turkey to privatize highways, bridges, and hydroelectric power plants to reduce current account deficit

Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simşek unveiled plans for the privatization of infrastructure projects such as highways, bridges, and certain hydroelectric power plants to reduce the current account deficit.
Turkey’s Minister of Treasury and Finance, Mehmet Simsek, announced the commencement of a deflationary process while revealing plans to privatize highways, bridges, and certain hydroelectric power plants. In a comprehensive address during a session with the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission following the discussions on the 2024 budget for his ministry and its affiliated institutions, Simsek emphasized their commitment to implementing the deflation program aimed at permanently elevating society’s well-being.
Highlighting the launch of natural gas production in the Sakarya Gas Field, Simsek reported that production would reach 2.4 billion cubic meters next year, 2.7 billion the following year, and 4.6 billion in subsequent years, with Sakarya poised to meet nearly 25% of Turkey’s natural gas needs by 2028.
Simsek also revealed plans to reduce the current account deficit by increasing savings, stating, “We will reduce the current account deficit by elevating it in the value-added chain.” He further emphasized the government’s commitment to adopting the European Union’s recommendations for the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), assuring the agency’s independence and credibility in producing accurate statistics.
Addressing the issue of energy subsidies, Simsek clarified that substantial funding of 500.7 billion Turkish liras had been allocated for energy subsidies in the 2024 budget. Additionally, public economic enterprises (KIT) are set to receive support to ensure citizens’ protection from electricity and natural gas price increases.
Furthermore, Simsek underlined that the 2024 budget would allocate 384 billion Turkish liras to support farmers, emphasizing the government’s commitment to assisting farmers, small business owners, and employees. He also confirmed that no new assets would be added to the privatization program, except for certain hydroelectric power plants, ports, highways, and bridges that were already under consideration.
As part of their deflationary measures, Simsek revealed the transition to an inflation accounting system and the possibility of exempting financial institutions from these measures. The minister concluded by reiterating the government’s unwavering determination to implement the deflation program, aimed at improving income distribution, increasing labor’s share in national income, and raising societal well-being on a sustainable basis.