TBILISI, DFWatch – The government in Georgia has set aside 162 million lari to deal with the losses because of last week’s storm. The money is to be taken from other parts of the state budget.

Finance Minister Dimitry Gvindadze explains that a special fund will be set up for these purposes, which will have 50 million lari at its disposal.

The extra money will be spenton emergency measures. Gvindadze says there will in addition be a development program for Kakheti for 110 million lari. 20 million out of this will be spent on making up for losses because of the disaster.

In addition, several of the municipalities in the Kakheti region will have their bugdets increased by two million lari. 17 million lari will be kept in the government’s reserve fund in case of further disasters.

To implement these changes, the state budget must be amended. The country’s current budget is more than 7 billion lari. This will not change. Instead, money will be relocated within the frames of the budget.

The government has presented parliament with a bill to amend the budget. Committee sessions will be held on Monday and Tuesday. Review and approving of the bill is planned for Wednesday.

Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze said at a bureau session that first of all it is important to restore houses, roofs, electricity and gas supply, as well as help people get food. Afterwards, the long-term rebuilding of the region should start.

Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili called on cabinet ministers to work hard the next days and thanked them for making the effort.

«We now immediately need amendments in the budget to finance all these measures,” he said.

July 19, a hail storm hit Georgia affecting about 40 villages. It destroyed houses, killed livestock, damaged power lines and destroyed crops.