Government has submitted to the Parliament revised draft of 2015 state budget, which, compared to the initial draft, increases targeted expenditures and revenues by GEL 160 million and GEL 88 million, respectively.
The revised draft sets GEL 7.6 billion in tax revenues next year, up by GEL 140 million compared to initial draft and up by GEL 780 million compared to 2014 figure.
The government plans to increase excise tax rates on tobacco and alcohol next year.
Forecasted revenues from foreign grants have also been revised upwards to GEL 215 million from initial GEL 180.
The revised draft allocates additional GEL 10 million for pension fund designed for increasing monthly pension for those pensioners, who are in the most socially vulnerable category, by GEL 25 starting from September 1, 2015.
In an explanatory note of the 2015 state budget, the government says that monthly pension would increase for all categories of pensioners in 2016, when the next parliamentary elections are planned, though no specific figures are provided.
The revised draft, compared to the initial one, allocates GEL 45 million more for the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure; it also increases funding of the Education Ministry by GEL 25 million, compared to the initial draft; funding of the ministries of defense, interior and sport are increased by GEL 15 million each in the revised draft. Funding of the ministry of culture and ministry in charge of IDPs is increased by GEL 10 million each, compared to the initial draft; Ministry of Environment funding will get GEL 4 million more; funding of the Justice Ministry is increased by GEL 3.5 million. Funding of the Energy Ministry is down by GEL 10 million – the only ministry, whose funding has be cut in the revised draft budget, compared to the initial draft, but its total funding of GEL 125 million for next year is still higher than Energy Ministry’s 2014 funding.
Breakdown of funding per ministry in the revised draft of 2015 budget is as follows:
- Ministry of Healthcare and Social Protection – GEL 2.775 billion (initial draft envisaged GEL 2.750 million; GEL 2.658 billion is allocated for the ministry in 2014);
- Defense Ministry – GEL 640 million (initial draft of 2015 budget envisaged GEL 625 million; in 2014 MoD’s initial funding was set at GEL 660 million, but it was cut to GEL 615.9 million, which was mainly attributed to transfer of Delta military industrial complex from MoD to the Ministry of Economy; in 2013 MoD’s funding was set at GEL 660 million, but actual spending amounted to GEL 610.4 million; 2012 - figure stood at GL 730.6 million and at GEL 711 million in 2011);
- Interior Ministry – GEL 615 million (initial draft of 2015 envisaged GEL 600 million; 2014 – GEL 600 million; 2013 – GEL 570 million);
- Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure – GEL 1 billion (initial draft GEL 955 million; 2014 – GEL 875 million);
- Ministry of Education and Science – GEL 853.9 million (initial draft – GEL 828.9 million; 2014 – GEL 754.3 million);
- Ministry of Agriculture - GEL 291 million (2014 – GEL 263.5 million);
- Finance Ministry – GEL 100 million (2014 – GEL 96 million);
- Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 120 million (GEL 87 million was initially planned in 2014, but it was then revised upwards to GEL 131 million);
- Ministry of Energy – GEL 125 million (initial draft – GEL 135 million; 2014 – GEL 114.6 million);
- Justice Ministry – GEL 68.5 million (initial draft – GEL 65 million; 2014 – GEL 60.5 million);
- Prison system ministry – GEL 155 million (2014 – GEL 154 mln);
- Foreign Ministry - GEL 100 million (2014 – GEL 90 mln);
- Ministry of Culture and Protection of Monuments – GEL 95 million (initial draft – GEL 85 million; 2014 - GEL 80 million);
- Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs – GEL 70 million (initial draft – GEL 55 million; 2014 – GEL 53.9 million);
- Ministry of Environment Protection – GEL 39 million (initial draft GEL 35 million; 2014 – GEL 31 million);
- Ministry for IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees – GEL 70 million (initial draft GEL 60 million; 2014 - GEL 48 million);
- State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Office of the State Minister for Reintegration – GEL 1.35 million (2014 - GEL 1.35 million);
- Office of the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration – GEL 3.1 million (initial draft GEL 2.8 million; 2014 – 2.8 million);
- Office of the State Minister for Diaspora Issues – GEL 1.2 million (initial draft - GEL 1 million; 2014 – GEL 900 thousand).
Initial draft of 2015 budget envisaged increase in the government’s reserve fund by GEL 20 million to GEL 70 million. But the revised draft keeps its funding unchanged at GEL 50 million as it is in 2014.
Unlike the initial draft, the funding of government’s administration will increase by GEL 12.5 million to GEL 32.5 million; in 2014 the government’s administration received funding of GEL 20 million.
Transfers from the central budget to the autonomous republics and local municipalities will increase by GEL 4 million to GEL 854 million next year, according to the revised draft. The figure stands at GEL 795.9 million in 2014. The capital city Tbilisi will receive GEL 412 million from the central budget next year.
The revised draft increases funding of the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) by GEL 520,000, compared to the initial draft, and sets PDO’s total funding for next year at GEL 4 million, which is an increase by GEL 1.6 million, compared to its 2014 funding.
Funding of the Office of Personal Data Protection Inspector will double to GEL 1.2 million in 2015.
The revised draft budget will be discussed in the Parliament this week and it may be further revised before the draft is put on parliamentary vote in December.