The Georgian Parliament approved with its final hearing the 2020 state budget with 83 votes in favor and one against at its plenary session on December 10.
The draft state budget was submitted to the Parliament by Finance Minister Ivane Machavariani.
“The 2020 budget better reflects social responsibilities; moreover, it serves the country’s economic development goals,” Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze said at the session.
The lawmakers from the parliamentary opposition, including the United National Movement and European Georgia did not attend the discussion, as they are boycotting the sessions for almost a month following Parliament’s downvoting of the promised constitutional amendment on November 14.
According to the final document, budgetary revenues in the 2020 state budget are set at GEL 14.55 billion, up by GEL 510 million compared to the initial draft and by 1.6 billion compared to 2019.
The state budget sets tax revenues at GEL 10.46 billion. The document sets revenues from foreign grants at GEL 241 million; other revenues are set at GEL 520 million. The government plans to mobilize GEL 130 million from privatization.
The government projects 4.5% economic growth next year (the same as in 2019). The initial draft forecasted 5% economic growth, but as the Finance Minister explained, the government decided to reduce its forecast by 0.5 percentage point following consultations with the International Monetary Fund.
The inflation rate has increased from initial 3% to 3.5%.
Budgetary assignations are set at GEL 14.32 billion, up by GEL 221 million compared to the initial draft and by GEL 1.12 billion compared to 2019. The budget also envisages increased pensions as well as salaries for the staff of law enforcement agencies.
Breakdown of funding per ministry in the 2020 state budget is as follows:
- Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs – GEL 4.36 billion, up by GEL 384.6 mln compared to the 2019 state budget and by GEL 16 mln compared to the initial draft. GEL 2.23 billion will be spent on pensions. The government plans to increase pensions by GEL 20 from the 1st of January, 2020 and additional increase by GEL 30 is planned from the 1st of July for the pensioners aged 70 and above.
- Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure – GEL 2.07 billion, up by GEL 71.6 million compared to the 2019 state budget.
- Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport – GEL 1.66 billion, up by GEL 31.9 mln compared to the 2019 state budget and by GEL 30.5 mln compared to the initial draft.
- Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture – GEL 353 million, up by GEL 12.9 million compared to the previous year.
- Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 364 million, up by 111 million compared to 2019.
- Ministry of Finance – GEL 93 million, up by GEL 2 million compared to 2019.
- Ministry of Justice – GEL 224 million, up by GEL 32.8 million compared to 2019 and by GEL 21 million compared to the initial draft.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs – GEL 159 million, up by GEL 15.5 million compared to 2019.
- Ministry of Defense – GEL 880 million, up by GEL 45 million compared to 2019. The draft does not specify, but notes that salaries of military staff will increase.
- Ministry of Internal Affairs – GEL 770 million, up by GEL 3.4 million compared to 2019. The government plans to increase salaries for police officers by GEL 125, on average.
- State Security Service – GEL 137.5 million, up by GEL 1.5 million compared to the 2019 state budget. It is also planned to increase salaries for security service staff by GEL 125, on average.
Funding of the Public Defender’s Office will increase by GEL 1.6 million compared to 2019 and total GEL 8 million. The increased funds will be spent on the construction of the Public Defender’s office.
The State Inspector’s Office will also receive increased funding at GEL 8 million (up by GEL 3.6 million). The planned increase is related to the expansion of its mandate, covering the crimes committed by law enforcement officers and public officials.
The Parliament’s funding will remain unchanged at GEL 64.7 million. The President’s administration will again receive GEL 6 million.
The government’s administration will receive GEL 16.5 million, down by GEL 0.3 million. Funding for the government’s reserve fund will remain unchanged at GEL 50 million in 2020.
Funding of the Constitutional Court will increase by GEL 100 thousand and amount to GEL 4.25 million in 2010. Funding of the Supreme Court will also increase by GEL 2.5 million to GEL 12 million. Compared to 2019, common courts will receive GEL 82.5 million, up by 6.6 million.
In 2020, the Central Election Commission will receive GEL 72.6 million from the budget. GEL 44.8 million of this sum will be spent on organizing the parliamentary elections in 2020.
Georgian Public Broadcaster will receive GEL 68.7 million, up by GEL 10.5 million compared to 2019.
Funding for the Georgian Orthodox Church will remain unchanged at GEL 25 million.
The government will spend GEL 1.02 billion on payment of debts with GEL 978.9 million spent on foreign debt payment and GEL 44 million spent on internal debt payment.