Georgian parliament passes country’s state budget for 2014

Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 12
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

Georgian Parliament passed the country's budget for 2014 on Dec. 12. Eighty-six MPs voted unanimously for the adoption of Georgia's main financial document.

Representatives of minorities, who left the meeting hall as a sign of protest, did not participate in the voting. This happened after a fight that broke out between the members of minority and majority during the discussion of the situation in Ukraine.

The total state budget is estimated at 9,050 billion Georgian lari. The budget revenue in this year's budget plan stands at 7.422 billion lari ($1 = 1.71 lari), and forecasted expenditures amount to 7.248 billion lari.

In the coming year the state plans to receive 6.82 billion lari in the form of tax revenues, according to the budget.

On the revenue side, grants will amount to 144 million lari, while this year the volume of grants was scheduled at 202.5 million lari. It is planned to raise 355 million lari which is 55 million lari more than budgeted for the current year.

At the same time, the full amount of funds to be obtained through the issuance of government securities stands at 600 million lari. In 2013 this amount stood at 150 million lari and 58.3 million lari in 2012, according to the explanatory note of the Georgian government.

Some 400 million lari out of these funds will be used to finance the payments from the state budget, including coverage of the public debt and the remaining 200 million lari will be directed at ensuring the economy with long-term resources.

In particular, rules will be developed together with the National Bank for placing these funds in commercial banks. According to these rules the funds will be placed in the form of deposits in those banks which purchase these securities.

The prognosis for economic growth in the budget is five per cent. The forecasted GDP growth in the 2013 budget amounts to six per cent. However, its real growth amounted to 1.9 per cent in first nine months of 2013, according to the Georgian Statistics Service. The government supposes that the real economic growth will be 2.5 per cent by the end of the year.

It is planned to increase the monthly benefits for IDPs to 45 lari from March 1, 2014 and well as fulfil the government's promises about increasing the salaries of court staff.

The priority directions of the 2014 budget are healthcare, education, agriculture and the development of infrastructure. Nevertheless, the envisaged financing of all relevant ministries has been reduced compared to the initial draft budget. The financing of the Ministry of Economy has been increased by 62 million lari compared to the previous version of the draft budget.

In accordance with the state budget, the ministries will receive financing in the following spheres in 2014:

Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection - 2.658 billion lari (2.345 billion lari in 2013, 1.821 billion lari in 2012);

Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure - 875 million lari (928 million in 2013);

Ministry of Education and Science - 754.3 million lari (673.2 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Agriculture - 290 million lari (241 million lari in 2013);

Defence Ministry - 660 million lari (660 million lari in 2013, 730.6 million lari in 2012, 711 million lari in 2011);

Ministry of Internal Affairs - 570 million lari (570 million lari in 2013, 587 800 000 lari in 2012, 568 million lari in 2011);

Finance Ministry - 96 million lari (100 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development - 87 million lari (55 million lari in 2013);

Energy Ministry - 114.6 million lari (118.7 million lari in 2013);

Justice Ministry - 60.5 million lari (71.4 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance - 157 million lari (174.3 million lari in 2013);

Foreign Ministry - 90 million lari (80 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection - 80 million lari (80 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs - 53.9 million lari (47.2 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection - 31 million lari (25.9 million lari in 2013);

Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees - 48 million lari (48 million lari in 2013);

Office of the State Minister for Reintegration - 1.3 million lari (1.3 million lari in 2013);
Office of the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration - 2.3 million lari (2.3 million lari in 2013);

Office of the State Minister for Diaspora Affairs - 900,000 lari (850,000 lari in 2013).
Financing of the Office of the Government will double and amount to 20 million lari.

Financing of parliament decreased by half a million lari compared to 2013 and will amount to 59.5 million lari. The presidential administration will receive around nine million lari which is 20,000 lari less than in 2013.

The president's reserve fund will be reduced by half dropping to five million lari in 2014. The government's reserve fund will once again reach 50 million lari.

Funding for the court also increased: the Constitutional Court - 3.3 million lari (2.6 million lari in 2013), the Supreme Court - 6.6 million lari (5.5 million lari in 2013), general courts - 47.4 million lari (34.9 million lari in 2013) and the Supreme Council of Justice - 2.485 million lari (1.075 million lari in 2013).

Funding for the Georgian Statistics Service will be increased from 4.5 million lari to 14.6 million lari this year. Around 8.8 million lari will be spent for the general census next year.
According to the budget, financing of all governors offices will be increased by several thousand lari.

The parliamentary minority will not support the draft budget for 2014. MP Giorgi Vashadze said in a statement.

He said that parliament is considering the draft state budget 2014 which is very important for the country. He said that 2013 was the year of failure of the Georgian economy.

"Economic growth decreased three-fold," he said. "We lost a two billion gross domestic product," he said. "There is a gap worth 800 million in the budget. This figure may even reach one billion."

Translated by E.A., L.Z., N.H.

Edited by S.M.

Additional editing C.N.

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