The Czech parliament agreed on Wednesday to discuss the 2006 state budget with a projected deficit of 74.4 billion koruna (US$3.02 billion; Ђ2.51 billion) or about 3.7 percent of the gross domestic product.
In the parliament's 200-seat lower chamber, deputies voted 98-57 to send the draft to a second reading. Out of the 193 present in the chamber, 38 abstained.
The final vote on the budget, which calls for expenditures of 958.8 billion koruna (US$38.97 billion; Ђ32.43 billion) and revenues of 884.4 billion koruna (US$35.94 billion; Ђ29.91 billion) is expected in December, the AP reports. A.P.