The Parliament approved the amendments to the 2011 state budget revising upwards forecasted revenues by GEL 350 million and expenditures by about GEL 240 million.
As a result, the revenues of the 2011 budget are now set at GEL 6.304 billion and expenditures at GEL 5.966 billion.
The government said that revising upwards revenue target was made possible because of economic growth, which, it said, is larger than expected. But the opposition argued that increase was mainly made possible because of high inflation, which caused more revenues from value added tax because of increasing prices.
Forecasted real GDP growth was revised from 4.5% to 5.5% in 2011. Finance Minister Kakha Baindurashvili told MPs on April 8 that it was a conservative forecast and economic growth might be even higher, reaching 6.5% or 7% this year. Last year real GDP growth was 6.4%.
According to the budgetary amendments, forecasted inflation rate was also revised from 7% to 8%.
The budgetary amendments also envisage issuing of eurobonds in an amount of GEL 900 million to refinance the five-year USD 500 million Eurobond, issued by Georgia in 2008.
The amendments also envisage issuing GEL 100 million worth of treasury bills on the domestic market.
As a result of the budgetary amendments the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Protection will receive most of the additional funding in an amount of GEL 86 million of which GEL 55.2 million will be used to increase minimal monthly pensions to GEL 100 starting from September. The ministry’s total funding, as a result, will go up to GEL 1.692 billion.
Additional GEL 9 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture increasing its total funding for this year to GEL 79.9 million.
Funding of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees will increase from GEL 30.3 million to GEL 40.7 million.
The proposed amendments also envisage increase of funding for some other ministries, including:
- Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 106.3 million (initial funding for 2011 was GEL 75.4 million);
- Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure – GEL 879.1 million (initial 2011 - GEL 864 mln);
- Ministry of Education and Science – GEL 555 million (initial 2011 – GEL 550.8 mln);
- Justice Ministry – GEL 70.7 million (initial 2011 – GEL 68.7 mln);
- Finance Ministry – GEL 204.7 million (initial 2011 – GEL 202.3 mln);
- Ministry of Culture and Protection of Monuments – GEL 55.6 million; (initial 2011 – GEL 53 million);
- Ministry in charge of prison system – GEL 106.5 million (initial 2011 – GEL 105.5 mln);
- Office of the State Minister for Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic Structures – GEL 1.626 million (initial 2011 – 1.301 mln);
- Office of the State Minister for Reintegration Issues – GEL 1.250 million (initial 2011 – GEL 1 million);
- Office of the State Minister for Diaspora Issues – GEL 788,000 (initial 2011 - GEL 623,000).
According to the budgetary amendments, the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s (GPB) budget will receive this year additional GEL 20 million (about USD 11.9 million) to fund its Russian-language satellite news channel PIK (Perviy Informatsionniy Kavkazsky, the First Caucasus News).