Parliament to Launch Discussions on 2020 Draft State Budget

The Georgian Parliament will start discussions on the 2020 draft state budget, deemed as “citizen-oriented” by Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, from October 4. The draft state budget was submitted to the parliament by the government earlier this week.

Speaking at the yesterday’s government session, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said that the 2020 draft state budget is “quite balanced” and that it reflects the issues of “social responsibility, fiscal discipline and capital expenditures by the state.”

The government presented the 2020 draft state budget at the government’s special session on September 30.

Budgetary revenues and expenditures in the 2020 state budget are set at GEL 14.04 billion (up by GEL 1.18 billion compared to 2019) and at GEL 14.21 billion (up by GEL 1.12 compared to 2019), respectively.

The state budget sets tax revenues at GEL 10.32 billion. The document sets revenues from foreign grants at GEL 200 million; other revenues are set at GEL 515 million. The government plans to mobilize GEL 120 million from privatization.

The government projects 5% economic growth next year (4.5% in 2019), and forecasts the inflation rate at 3%.

Breakdown of funding per ministry in the 2020 draft state budget is as follows:

  • Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs – GEL 4.35 billion, up by GEL 378.6 million compared to the 2019 state budget. 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 1.64 billion, up by GEL 132.4 million;
  • Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture – GEL 353 million, up by GEL 14.1 million;
  • Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 364 million, down by 5.55 million;
  • Ministry of Finance – GEL 93 million, up by GEL 2 million compared to the 2019;
  • Ministry of Justice – GEL 203 million, up by GEL 22 million;
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs – GEL 159 million, up by 22.5 million;
  • Ministry of Defense – GEL 880 million, up by GEL 5 million;
  • Ministry of Internal Affairs – GEL 770 million, up by GEL 28.4 million. 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 5.2 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 be reduced by GEL 10 million to GEL 40 million in 2020.

Like in 2019, the Constitutional Court will again receive GEL 4.1 million in 2020. Funding for the Supreme Court will be GEL 12 million, up by GEL 2.5 million. Common courts will receive GEL 83 million, up by 5.25 million.

In 2020, the Central Election Commission will receive GEL 72.6 million from the budget. GEL 43 million of this sum will be spent on organizing the parliamentary elections in 2020.

Georgian Public Broadcaster will receive GEL 62.8 million, up by GEL 4.6 million.

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

The government will spend GEL 1 billion on payment of debts with GEL 44 million spent on internal debt payment.

According to the Parliament, from October 4, the parliamentary committees will launch discussions on the draft state budget. On October 10, the parliamentary factions will discuss the 2020 draft budget and the final discussion will be held at the finance and budget committee sitting on October 18 after which the Parliament should submit its remarks over the draft to the government.

Following the government’s consideration of the legislature’s remarks and recommendations, the revised draft will again be submitted to the Parliament for consideration. According to the budget code, the Parliament should approve the 2020 state budget no later than third Friday of December.

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