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Budget expanded again

Tuesday, September 16
Minister of Finance Nika Gilauri has announced that the 2008 state budget will be increased by GEL 255 million and will now total GEL 7.209 billion.

Grants already received and an underspend last year have created a surplus. The financial aid Georgia has been promised as compensation for the Russian aggression will be added to the budget when it arrives.

Under the new draft budget the Ministry of Energy will receive GEL 12 million less, the Ministry of Finance GEL 4 million less, the Ministry of Culture GEL 3 million less and Parliament GEL 2 million less. Some ministries however will see an increase in their funding: Defence will gain an extra GEL 150 million, the Interior Ministry GEL 100 million, Education GEL 14 million and Health GEL 16 million. Grape farmers will receive GEL 18.5 million in direct compensation, rather than this being distributed through the wine companies, and regional budgets will increase by GEL 107 million, regions which suffered from the Russian invasion receiving the greatest proportion of this extra funding.

The new draft budget has been submitted to Parliament and there are unlikely to be any major changes.