TBILISI, DFWatch–The new Georgian government has presented a 9 billion lari (about USD 5 billion) budget for 2014 which prioritizes health care and education.
The budget bill was approved by 86 votes against 0 at a plenary session on Wednesday.
Members of the National Movement party did not attend the vote. They announced a boycott due to the scuffle which took place earlier the same day.
However it was clear that UNM members didn’t plan to vote for the budget, because they think the government lacks a proper plan for the country’s development and do not agree with the parameters of the budget bill. They criticize the new budget mostly for the extent of debt.
According to the draft budget, the government plans to take on 1.7 billion lari (USD one billion) of new debt. The distribution of the new debt is the following: World Bank credit 136 million lari (USD 80 million); loans from international financial institutions – 300 million lari (USD 176 million); investment credits to finance infrastructure projects – 600 million lari (USD 353 million); domestic government securities with various terms – 400 million lari (USD 235 million).
The total amount of government securities will be 600 million lari (USD 353 million) out of which 400 million lari (USD 235 million) will be spent on financing state budget fees and covering state debt.
1 685 000 000 (about one billion) is foreseen for state debts and covering in 2013-2014 in total. It is to cover credit from the International Monetary Fund in 2009 and part of euro obligations taken in 2008.
200 million from the securities will be spent on providing long-term resources for economy – with an accent on commercial banks to give them opportunity to give away long-term credits. The Finance Ministry claims this will contribute to the stimulatation of the economy.
The budget will be financed from revenue income – 6 820 million lari (USD 4 billion); grants – 144 million lari (USD 85 million); other incomes – 355 million lari (USD 209 million); income from privatization of the state property – 80 million lari (USD 47 million); loans given away in previous years – 70 million lari (USD 41 million).
According to the budget, the prognosis for real GDP growth is 5 percent in 2014 and the GDP is 29.3 billion lari.
Financing for the Health Ministry will increase by 313 million to 2 658 million lari (USD 1.6 billion).
The Education Ministry also gets increased financing with 84. 3 million lari and will be 754.3 million lari (USD 444 million).
Financing for the Agriculture Ministry will increase by 22.5 million lari to 262.5 million (USD 155 million).
The Ministry for Regional Development will get 875 million lari (USD 515 million); the Economy Ministry – 87 million lari (USD 51 million); the Energy Ministry – 114.6 million lari (USD 67 million); Finance Ministry – 96 million lari (USD 56 million); Foreign Affair Ministry – 90 million lari (USD 53 million). Financing for the Foreign Affair Ministry includes purchasing a building for the Georgian embassy in the US.
Financing for the Defense Ministry will be 660 million lari (USD 388 million); Interior Ministry – 600 million lari (USD 353 million); Culture Ministry – 80 million lari (USD 47 million); Sports Ministry – 53.9 million lari (USD 32 million); Refugee Ministry – 48 million lari (USD 28 million); Environment Ministry – 31 million lari (USD 18 million).