Lawmakers discussed during the parliamentary session on November 11 draft of 2012 state budget, criticized by opposition for lack of transparency.
The draft has been amended since its initial version was submitted to the Parliament more than a month ago. The amended draft sets expenditures for the next year at GEL 6.181 billion (instead of initially planned GEL 6.131 billion) and revenues are still set at GEL 6.606 billion.
Forecasted 2012 economic growth has been revised downwards to 5%, which Finance Minister Dimitri Gvindadze said was a conservative estimation. Next year’s forecasted inflation rate is set at 6%.
Forecasted tax revenues are set at GEL 6.1 billion next year, up from planned GEL 5.65 million this year.
The draft envisages GEL 15 million increase (instead of initially proposed GEL 30 million) for the Ministry of Defense with total defense budget set at GEL 675 million in 2012, instead of GEL 660 million in 2011 and GEL 728 million – in 2010.
In other amendments to the draft, the funding for the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is set at GEL 290.3 million (initial draft envisaged – GEL 369.3 million; 2011 budget envisages – GEL 216 million). According to the amended draft the Ministry of Agriculture will receive GEL 100.2 million, instead of initially planned GEL 69.8 million (2011 – GEL 79.9 million); Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 129.3 million (initial draft – GEL 80.3 million; 2011 - GEL 106.3 million); Ministry of Education and Science – GEL 580 million (initial draft - GEL 560 million; 2011 – GEL 555 mln); Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure – GEL 920.3 million (initial draft - GEL 914.7 million; 2011 - GEL 879.1 mln).
Instead of initially envisaged GEL 599.7 million, GEL 493.7 million will be allocated for road infrastructure of which GEL 212.4 million is the state funding and GEL 281 million is credit. Share of credits is also prevailing in funding of rehabilitation of regional and municipal infrastructure and water supply infrastructure.
According to the draft, autonomous republics and local self-government bodies will receive GEL 818.9 million from the central budget, instead of initially planned GEL 888.9 million.
The draft may undergo further changes before its approval by the Parliament, expected in December.