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Amendments to State budget 2015 approved by Parliament

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, July 20
The 2015 budget of Georgia has been decreased by 160 million Gel. The government has reduced the costs of law enforcement agencies and with the freed-up funds, infrastructure projects were financed.

The corrected version of budget 2015 was approved by Parliament on July 17 after a month-long review.

After a 4 hour discussion in Parliament, only 78 members of majority voted in favour of an updated version of budget.

Funding was cut by an amount of 160 million Gel, and will affect most of the ministries. But the overall budgetary expenditures set for this year remain unchanged at slightly over GEL 8 billion as the government plans to offset reduced tax revenues by raising GEL 185 million in foreign loans and over GEL 40 million in budgetary support grants from donors.

The government also expects an additional 150 million GEL this year from mobile operators in license fees for a spectrum used to provide 4G services.

Funding of Parliament is to be reduced by GEL 6 million from GEL 46 million and of the Intelligence Service by GEL 1.6 million from GEL 12.4 million.

Government’s discretionary reserve fund is increased by GEL 20 million to GEL 70 million and GEL 1 million is added to the Special State Protection Service (SSPS), increasing the latter’s funding to GEL 54 million.

Georgia’s economy growth forecast has been downgraded from 5 to 2% however Deputy Finance Minister Giorgi Kakauridze said economy growth might reach 3%.

"We have reduced expenditures to have less spending share in the budget and to have fewer deficits in the budget. In total, the volume of the budget does not change,” said Kakauridze.

The opposition thinks that the changes in budget are not sufficient and in the end of the year another sequester is expected.

“Sequestered budget, Lari devaluation, halted economy and increased poverty and unemployment represent an image created by the current government and we are going to change it,” said the member of opposition party United National Movement, Davit Bakradze.