Parliament Discusses Revised Draft of 2019 State Budget

The Parliament of Georgia discussed on November 13-14 the revised draft of the 2019 state budget, submitted by the government following the latter’s consideration of the legislature’s remarks drawn from the budget-related committee hearings.

Budgetary revenues and expenditures in the 2019 state budget are set at GEL 10.4 billion and at GEL 9.6 billion, respectively. In the 2018 budget, the corresponding figures stand at 10.3 billion and 9.49 billion, respectively.

The draft budget sets tax revenues at GEL 9.6 billion, including income tax – GEL 3.2 billion; profit tax – GEL 781 million; VAT – GEL 4 billion; excise – GEL 1.46 billion; import tax – GEL 83 million, other taxes – GEL 117 million.

The document sets revenues from foreign grants at GEL 368.5 million, down by GEL 46 million compared to the 2018 state budget. “Other revenues” will increase by GEL 50 million and reach GEL 460 million.

Like in 2018, the government projects 4.5% economic growth next year, and forecasts the inflation rate at 3% with GEL/USD exchange rate at 2.7.

Breakdown of funding per ministry in the 2019 draft budget is as follows:

  • Ministry of Finance – GEL 91 million (up by GEL 8.7 million compared to the 2018 budget);
  • Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 344.7 million (229.5 million in 2018);
  • Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure – GEL 1.9 billion (up by GEL 140 million);
  • Ministry of Justice – GEL 186.4 million (up by GEL 9.4 million);
  • Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs – GEL 3.93 billion (3.6 billion in 2018).
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs – GEL 136.5 million (up by GEL 15.5 million);
  • Ministry of Defense – GEL 870 million (up by GEL 68 million);
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs – GEL 644 million (up by GEL 74 million);
  • Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture – GEL 332.3 million (274.7 million in 2018);
  • Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport – GEL 1.52 billion (1.46 billion in 2018).
  • Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality – GEL 2.85 million (up by GEL 1.25 million compared to the 2018 budget).

According to the revised draft of the 2019 state budget, funding for the Presidential Administration (GEL 9.8 million), the Presidential reserve fund (GEL 5 million) and the Government’s reserve fund (GEL 50 million) will remain unchanged.

The Government Administration will receive a slightly reduced funding – GEL 15.8 million (down by GEL 22 thousand). The Parliament will receive increased funding at GEL 64.7 million (up by 2.6 million).

Funding for the State Audit Office will increase by GEL 600,000 and amount to GEL 16.2 million. Funding for the Central Election Commission will decrease to GEL 27.5 million (down by GEL 39.6 million).

The State Security Service funds will increase by GEL 12 million and amount to GEL 136 million.

The Constitutional Court will again receive GEL 4.1 million in 2019. Funding for the Supreme Court will increase by GEL 1.1 million and reach GEL 9.5 million. Common courts will receive GEL 77.7 million (up by GEL 6.6 million).

Funding for the Public Defender’s Office will increase by nearly GEL 900,000 and amount to GEL 6.4 million.

Funding for the Georgian Public Broadcaster will increase by GEL 5.9 million and reach GEL 58.5 million.

Funding for the Georgian Orthodox Church will remain unchanged at GEL 25 million.

According to the revised draft, the state debt is estimated at GEL 20.1 billion in 2019, accounting for 43% of the Gross Domestic Product. This includes GEL 15.7 billion in foreign debt and GEL 4.4 billion in internal debt.

The Finance Ministry submitted the initial draft of the 2019 state budget to the Parliament on October 2. On November 5, following month-long discussions, the legislature returned the draft to the government, which resubmitted the revised draft on November 13.

The Parliament of Georgia will approve the final version in early December.

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

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