The Parliament approved on December 17 the state budget for 2011 setting revenues at GEL 5.955 billion and expenditures – at GEL 5.734 billion against GEL 5.363 billion and GEL 5.607 billion in 2010, respectively.
The parliamentary minority refused to support the proposed budget and criticized it as “irresponsible”.
The government expects GEL 5.3 billion from tax revenues and GEL 150 million from privatization next year.
Finance Minister, Kakha Baindurashvili, told lawmaker that government’s conservative estimation was that economy would grow 4.5% next year and 7% annual inflation was forecasted in 2011. Annual inflation reached 10.5% in November, 2010.
Below is breakdown of 2011 funding per ministry:
According to the state budget, the president’s and government’s reserve funds will receive GEL 50 million each, instead of GEL 55 million this year. Initially, in the beginning of 2010 GEL 25 million was allocated for each of these funds, but the funding increased to GEL 50 million for each as a result of budgetary amendments in the course of this year.
Funding of the president’s administration, as well as the one of government will be slightly reduced to GEL 14.1 million and GEL 8.5 million, respectively.
The Parliament will receive GEL 40.1 million in 2011, plus about GEL 6 million for funding of various institutions or agencies affiliated with, or operating at the legislative body.
Local self-government bodies will receive a total of GEL 842.5 million from the central budget in 2011. Like in 2010, the South Ossetian provisional administration will again receive GEL 8.8 million from the budget.
The Public Defender’s Office will receive GEL 2.1 million next year, instead of this year’s GEL 2.2 million.
GEL 25 million is allocated for the Georgian Public Broadcaster next year. In the course of 2010 the public broadcaster received GEL 38.3 million from the state budget.
The Georgian Orthodox Church will receive GEL 22.8 million in 2011, instead of GEL 25.3 million this year.
MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of Christian-Democratic Movement and of parliamentary minority group, slammed the proposed budget as “irresponsible”.
He said that the budget was not defining priorities correctly. He said that the government was “cheating” when saying that the agriculture sector was a priority.
Although funding of agriculture will be increased next year, it will still amount to only 0.3% of projected 2011 GDP. In 2010 funding of Agriculture Ministry – GEL 40.2 million – amounted to 0.2% of GDP.
MP Targamadze also criticized the budget for lack of transparency and called the government’s and president’s reserve funds “black holes”.
He also criticized the budget for a failure to increase pensions, as promised by the authorities almost three years ago.
Finance Minister Baindurashvili said that 2011 was considered as the year of “budgetary stabilization” and fulfillment of promises related with increased pensions was supposed from 2012.
“It is the budget of stagnation rather than stabilization and it will drown Georgia in a deeper economic swamp than it was in 2010,” MP Giorgi Targamadze responded.
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