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2015 State Budget Revised
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Nov.'15 / 17:06

Parliament approved on November 27 government-proposed amendments to the 2015 state budget adding GEL 96 million to healthcare funding

This year’s budget has been revised for the second time in last four months.

In July the initially targeted tax revenues were cut by GEL 200 million to GEL 7.4 billion and economic growth forecast was revised downward from 5% to 2%.

With the recent amendments, passed on November 27, targeted tax revenues increased by GEL 120 million to GEL 7.52 billion.

GEL 96 million, which has been added to the budget of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs, was allocated for the universal healthcare program, increasing its funding for this year to GEL 566 million. Initial draft of 2016 state budget sets program’s funding at GEL 570 million for next year.

The universal healthcare program has turned into one of the staples of what the government calls is its “socially-oriented” and “human-centered” policies, and the program is always on top when GD ruling coalition and government officials list achievements of the current administration.

During parliamentary discussions of the amendments to the state budget, which was not supported by opposition lawmakers, UNM MP Petre Tsiskarishvili said on November 26 that although universal healthcare program might be popular, enjoying high standing in various polls, it is not sustainable in a long term and this system “is already hitting our economy… which will cause collapse of the entire budget in the future.”

With this increase, total funding of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs went up to GEL 2.881 billion, accounting for about 35.5% of total budgetary expenditures for 2015.

In other changes, there is a GEL 76 million funding cut for the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure caused mostly due to delays in initially planned road rehabilitation projects. The ministry’s funding for this year now stands at GEL 869.5 million.

GEL 15 million was added to government’s reserve fund, which has now increased to GEL 85 million.

According to the amendments, the government will no longer issue GEL 185 million worth of treasury bills on the domestic market and it also reduced by GEL 108 million loan it was initially planning to raise from external sources.

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