The government has submitted to the Parliament initial draft of 2016 state budget, which sets revenues at GEL 8.35 billion and expenditures at GEL 8.37 billion.
The government expects GEL 7.78 billion in tax revenues next year, up by GEL 380 million from this year’s target.
The draft budget for 2016 projects 3% economic growth next year.
Parliament confirmed in July amendments to the 2015 state budget cutting economic growth forecast from 5% to 2%. According to preliminary data released by the state statistics office Geostat, economy grew 2.8% y/y in the first eight months of this year. GDP growth in the same period of last year stood at 6.1%.
Breakdown of funding per ministry, according to the initial draft is as follows:
- Ministry of Healthcare and Social Protection – GEL 3.07 billion (GEL 2.785 billion is allocated for the ministry in 2015);
- Defense Ministry – GEL 670 million (GEL 667.3 million in 2015; GEL 667.4 million in 2014; GEL 610.4 million – in 2013; GEL 730.6 million in 2012);
- Interior Ministry – GEL 595 million (2015 – GEL 591.65 million);
- Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure – GEL 950 million (2015 – GEL 945.5 million);
- Ministry of Education and Science – GEL 975.19 million (2015 – GEL 840.8 million) – minimal salaries of public school teachers will increase from April from GEL 355 to GEL 405;
- Ministry of Agriculture - GEL 281.35 million (2015 – GEL 267.45 million);
- Finance Ministry – GEL 90 million (2015 – GEL 91 million);
- Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development – GEL 85 million (2015 - GEL 85.368 million);
- Ministry of Energy – GEL 135 million (2015 – GEL 114.3 million);
- Justice Ministry - GEL 68.5 million (2015 – GEL 66.1 million);
- Prison system ministry – GEL 153 million (2015 – GEL 150.5 mln);
- Foreign Ministry - GEL 100 million (2015 – GEL 89.5 mln);
- Ministry of Culture and Protection of Monuments – GEL 95 million (2015 - GEL 94.9 million);
- Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs - GEL 75 million (2015 – GEL 69.8 million);
- Ministry of Environment Protection - GEL 40.7 million (2015 – GEL 36.57 million);
- Ministry for Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees - GEL 70 million (2015 - GEL 70 million);
- State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Office of the State Minister for Reintegration – GEL 1.35 million (2015 - GEL 1.35 million);
- Office of the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration – GEL 3.1 million (2015 – 3.1 million);
- Office of the State Minister for Diaspora Issues – GEL 1.2 million (2015 – GEL 1.2 million).
The State Security Service, which was separated from the Interior Ministry in August 2015, will receive GEL 95 million in 2016.
GEL 1.48 billion will be allocated to cover monthly age pensions next year, which is just GEL 1 million more than this year. Minimal monthly age pension increased by GEL 10 to GEL 160 from September, 2015.
According to the initial draft, funding of the Parliament will increase from GEL 46 million this year to GEL 52 million.
Funding of the government’s administration will be reduced from this year’s GEL 20.9 million to GEL 17 million in 2016 and its reserve fund will receive GEL 50 million instead of GEL 70 million this year.
President’s administration and President’s discretionary fund will receive GEL 9 million and GEL 5 million, respectively, same as in 2015.
The Central Election Commission will receive increased funding in 2016 at GEL 58.5 million as parliamentary elections are planned in October. This year the CEC’s funding is GEL 22.5 million.
According to the draft budget, funding of the judiciary will be increased slightly: common courts – GEL 51 million (by GEL 1 million more); Supreme Court – GEL 6.65 million (by GEL 35 thousand more) and Constitutional Court – GEL 3.4 million (by GEL 10 thousand more).
Funding of the State Audit Service will be increased by about GEL 2 million and reach GEL 14.5 million in 2016.
Funding of the Public Defender’s Office is set at GEL 4.5 million, up by GEL 500,000.
Funding of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) will also increase from this year’s GEL 40.8 million to GEL 43 million, according to the initial draft.
Funding of the Georgian Orthodox Church will remain unchanged at GEL 25 million next year.
Transfers for local self-governance bodies in the provinces will be reduced from GEL 854.8 million this year to GEL 620 million in 2016. According to government’s explanatory note, accompanying the draft, local municipalities in the regions will be able to fill the gap from those income taxes, which will be directed to their local budgets, instead of central budget; the amount of these funds stands at GEL 300 million, according to the government.
The initial draft may be revised in the process of parliamentary discussions before it is put on vote, expected in December, 2015.