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MPs Discuss 2007 Budget Revision

Parliament began discussing on October 26 a proposed budget amendment that would see 2007 state spending increase by GEL 350 million (over USD 213 million).

The lion?s share of the increased budget – GEL 224 million – will go to the Ministry of Defense. If approved, already record high defense spending will reach GEL 1.495 billion (over USD 906 million).
Speaking in Parliament on October 26, Nika Gilauri, the finance minister, said that increased defense spending would be used for ?capital expenses? and ?further progress towards NATO standards.? He, however, declined to go further into details.

The initial budget amendment, which was proposed last week, is somewhat different from the final draft Parliament is now considering. On top of what was envisaged in the early draft, many ministries and agencies are to get extra funding. They are:

  • Ministry for Labor, Healthcare and Social Issues – GEL 75. 8 million;
  • Ministry of Agriculture – GEL 28 million;
  • Ministry of Justice? GEL 6 million (for construction and repair of prisons);
  • Parliament ? GEL 82,500;
  • Presidential administration ? GEL 2.6 million;
  • Ministry of Finance – GEL 11 million;
  • Ministry of Economic Development ? GEL 1.2 million;
  • Ministry of Education and Science ? GEL 500,000;
  • Ministry of Culture and Sport ? GEL 633,000.

Funds allocated for the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry for Labor, Healthcare and Social Issues will be used for a one off state-funded social assistance program. The total cost of the program will be about GEL 120 million.

Although opposition lawmakers have criticised the lack of transparency in the proposed amendment, it is expected to receive parliamentary approval before November 6.

This will be the second amendment to the 2007 state budget in less than a month and the third one this year.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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