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Opposition not supporting Tbilisi draft budget 2017

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, December 13
Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) opposition members has criticized the 2017 draft budget of the capital, sent to the Sakrebulo from the Mayor’s Office for approval.

The opposition stresses the draft does not cover all the current problems in Tbilisi and that the mayor, Davit Narmania, is not entirely aware of existing economic and social problems of Tbilisi residents.

United National Movement Sakrebulo MPs say the final version of the budget does not respond to the interests and demands of the population.

“The budget is oriented only towards the well-being of the ruling Georgian Dream…the funds towards healthcare and social issues are reduced, which is unfair,” Irakli Nadiradze, a member of the UNM, said.

Tbilisi City Council's opposition faction is also not going to support the draft budget. They say the Mayor’s Office did not take into account their remarks and comments.

The head of the faction, Zaza Vekua, stated that the budget is not aimed at the development of the economic situation in the capital or the creation of new jobs.

“The budget is being reduced by 47 million GEL, while the national currency continues its devaluation against the US dollar,” he added.

Narmania responded to the criticism of opponents, saying their demands were “populist” and they were not considered in the draft budget.

“We took into accounts most remarks from both the majority and minority, and we are also cutting administrative expenses by 10 percent. This was one of the demands of the opposition. If they will not support the budget, it is their problem,” the Mayor stated.

The Mayor’s Office sent the final version of Tbilisi budget draft to the Sakrebulo on Friday. The City Council has time until December 25 to consider the document at the meetings of the factions and commissions.

The document reads that the 2017 budget's volume, compared with the initial draft, was increased by 1,031,500 GEL and amounted to a total of 801,302,000 GEL.

The development of public transport, road infrastructure, landscaping and Education are named as top priorities of City Hall.

The revised budget has added 2 million GEL for the development of transport and in total, more than 64 million will be spent on transport projects.

In addition, the revised 2017 budget envisages additional 2,019,000 GEL for Housing and reconstruction of damaged buildings.

The final draft 2017 budget for Tbilisi also includes maintaining and reconstructing historic districts of the city, as well as building more kindergartens.