Parliament Approves Amendments to 2019 State Budget
On October 17, the Parliament of Georgia approved proposed government-initiated amendments to the 2019 state budget with 84 votes to 10, which among other proposed amendments, envisage increases in the funding of ministries and other public agencies.
According to the amendments, funding of various ministries and public agencies will increase by GEL 223.1 million to GEL 13.3 billion with budgetary funds amounting to GEL 12.3 billion, grants – GEL 100 million and loans – GEL 931 million.
Compared to the budget approved last December, budgetary funds will increase by GEL 585 million and grants – by GEL 7.7 million. Donor funding in the form of loans, which was initially set at approximately GEL 1.3 billion, will be reduced by almost GEL 370 million.
The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure was expected to receive almost GEL 1 billion of donor funding in 2019, but according to the Ministry, donor funding will partially be used in coming years and that the Ministry’s funding will be reduced by GEL 156 million. Its expected funding from grants will also be decreased by GEL 1.5 million.
According to the amendments approved by the Parliament, the government will supplement funds lost due to reduced donor funding with budgetary funds and allocate additional GEL 157.4 million to the Infrastructure Ministry. Thus, despite the changes in the funding sources, the total funding of the Ministry will practically remain unchanged at GEL 2 billion.
The Ministry of Economy, which was expected to receive GEL 89.5 million in the form of grants and loans, will also receive less donor funding. The government reduced the Ministry’s funding by GEL 27 million. Thus, it will receive GEL 253 million instead of initially planned GEL 396.5 million in 2019.
Funding of the Defense Ministry will be reduced by GEL 40 million in the part of loans, amounting to GEL 835 million.
According to the amendments, the Foundation for the Projects Implemented in Regions will receive increased funding by GEL 130 million and its total funding will amount to GEL 410 million. The increased funding will be used for the construction of outpatient clinics in regions, natural calamity prevention program and the promotion of rural development.
Funding allocated to the Tbilisi municipalities will be increased by GEL 100 million up to GEL 172.6 million. Additional funding will be used for the rehabilitation of streets and road infrastructure in Tbilisi.
The budget of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport will be increased by GEL 131 million up to GEL 1.64 billion. GEL 95 million of this sum will be spent on compensations of pension-age teachers and increased salaries of teachers.
According to the amendments, funding of the Interior Ministry will be increased by GEL 25 million up to GEL 766.4 million. The Ministries of Justice and Health will both receive funding increases of GEL 10 million (amounting to GEL 191 million and GEL 3.98 billion, respectively). The Foreign Ministry will also receive an additional GEL 7 million resulting in an increase of its total budget to GEL 143.5 million.
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