Gov’t Unveils Final Draft Budget
The Georgian Government introduced the final draft budget for 2022 to the public on December 6. The document has been lodged in the Parliament and awaits approval through 2021.
According to the revised draft, Georgia’s budgetary revenue for 2022 is set at GEL 19.36 (USD 6.24) billion, increased by GEL 1.43 (USD 0.5) billion from 2021. Its total expenditure is expected to comprise GEL 19.17 (USD 6.17) billion, down from GEL 19.5 (USD 6.12) billion in 2021.
Budgetary income and spending in the 2022 state budget are set at GEL 14.56 (USD 4.69) billion, up by GEL 2.31 billion (USD 740 million) from 2021. Meanwhile, spending is increased by GEL 516.3 (USD 165) million to GEL 14.4 (USD 4.5) billion.
The draft budget sets tax revenues at GEL 13.42 (USD 4.34) billion, revenues from grants at GEL 341.8 (USD 100.6) million, and other revenues at GEL 795 (USD 257.1) million. Also, out of the income, GEL 4.4 (USD 1.4) billion will be debt.
The government projects 6% real GDP growth next year, as opposed to the 10% growth forecast in 2021 and the 6.8% decrease in 2020. The authorities forecast the annual average inflation rate at 8.9%, some 6% higher than the target.
Breakdown of funding per ministry in the 2022 draft state budget is as follows:
- Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs – GEL 6.03 (USD 1.9) billion reduced by around GEL 66 million compared to 2021 budget, largely due to scrapping financial assistance measures to mitigate Covid-19 crisis and reducing expenses for Covid-19 management.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs – GEL 176.6 (USD 57) million, up by GEL 5.9 (USD 1.9) million.
- Ministry of Defense – GEL 1 billion (USD 320 million), up by GEL 72.4 (USD 23) million.
- Ministry of Internal Affairs – GEL 865 (USD 280) million, up by GEL 85 (USD 27) million.
- Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture – GEL 593 (USD 192) million, down by GEL 35.5 (USD 11) million compared to 2021 budget.
- Ministry of Education and Science – GEL 1.68 billion (USD 540 million) , up by GEL 160 (USD 51) million
- Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs – GEL 357.8 (USD 115.8) up by GEL 6.2 (USD 2) million
- Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 932.4 (USD 301.9) million, up by GEL 289.5 (USD 93) million
- Ministry of Finance – GEL 105.4 (USD 34.1) million, up by GEL 16.5 (USD 5.3) million.
- Ministry of Justice – GEL 310.6 (USD 100.6) million, up by GEL 14 (USD 4.5) million
The Parliament’s budget will increase by GEL 3.3 (USD 1) million to GEL 68 (USD 21.9) million. The President’s administration will receive GEL 8.79 (USD 2.8) million, which is GEL 2.5 million (USD 770 thousand) more than in 2021.
The government administration will receive GEL 19.2 (USD 6.8) million, up by GEL 3.2 (USD 1) million.
The State Security Service will be funded with GEL 148.7 (USD 47.7) million, up by GEL 11.2 (USD 3.6) million compared to the 2021 state budget.
Funding of the Public Defender’s Office will increase by GEL 369 (USD 118) thousand compared to 2021 and total GEL 8.87 (USD 2.8) million.
The State Inspector’s Office will also receive increased funding at GEL 11.3 (USD 3.6) million, up by GEL 2.3 million (USD 740 thousand). The planned increase is related to an increase in staff.
The Constitutional Court will receive GEL 4.95 (USD 1.6) million, the Supreme Court – GEL 14.35 (USD 4.62) million, common courts – GEL 99.12 (USD 33) million.
Georgian Public Broadcasters will receive GEL 82.18 (USD 26) million, up by GEL 12.98 (USD 4) million.
Funding for the Georgian Orthodox Church will remain unchanged at GEL 25 (USD 8) million.
The draft budget covers increased funds for pensions, which are being indexed annually starting 2021. According to Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, from January 2022, persons younger than 70 will receive GEL 260 (USD 83) (currently they receive GEL 240), while those aged 70 and over will get GEL 300 (USD 96), instead of GEL 275.
The amount of pension for those living in mountainous areas will be GEL 312 (USD 100) (up from GEL 288) for persons under 70 years of age, and GEL 360 (USD 115) (up from 330) for those over 70. Allowance for war veterans will also increase and make GEL 100 (USD 32) instead of the current GEL 22 and 44.
As per the new budget, civil servants will also see their salaries increased by 10%. According to Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili, the change will affect among others teachers, school administrative staff, village doctors, nurses, all ambulance staff, troops and police.
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