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Mayor’s Office refuses to take loan

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, November 12
The Tbilisi Mayor’s Office will not take a loan from commercial banks worth 30 million GEL. Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania has stated that the Mayor’s Office managed to distribute budgetary funds, which eliminated the necessity of the loan.

In September 2014, Narmania stated that there might be a deficit in Tbilisi’s budget, and the Mayor’s Office got permission from the government to take a loan if it was required.

Narmania also informed that the Tbilisi 2015 draft budget has been set at approximately 800 million GEL.

Narmania claims that unlike previous years, the 2015 budget will be more transparent.

"A number of projects are given in details. It is important that before drafting the budget, a public survey was carried out. In total, 8,000 people were interviewed and their needs were taken into view while drafting the budget," Narmania said

The draft budget will be submitted to the City Council on November 15.

Narmania also stressed that from 1 January 2015 the people released under the status of political prisoners will enjoy benefits in public transport. He said that political prisoners will have a 20-tetri fare.

“Politically persecuted people will receive benefits in municipal transport from the first of January. These will be people who had been arrested for political reasons. The Ministry of Justice will give us a list of those persons,” he said.

He added that this initiative is included in the budget of the coming year. The same benefit will be provided for the teachers of Tbilisi kindergartens.

Members of the UNM were against taking the loan. They stated that there were some problems in Tbilisi’s 2014 budget that were caused by the Georgian Dream coalition’s policies. They reminded the current government that the budget was confirmed by the Sakrebulo that was mainly composed of members of the coalition.

Member of the UNM Sevdia Ugrekhelidze states that there was nothing new in the statements of Narmania but a “strange innovation” regarding political prisoners. She admits that such category of people do not need any benefits as many of them are quite rich or take posts in different state bodies. Ugrekhelidze stated that the UNM will be more detailed when they become more familiarized with the budget draft.