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Parliament reviews the first draft of 2021 state budget

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, October 8
Yesterday, the committees of Parliament of Georgia started reviewing the first draft of the state budget 2021. The document was discussed by the Defence and Security Committee and a joint sitting of legal issues and Human Rights committees was held.

In 2021, the expenditure of the state budget will increase by GEL 1147.6 million and will constitute GEL 17 071.4 million.

The initial draft envisages an increase in salaries of some teachers and a new system regarding pensions, according to which the growth of pensions will be tied to inflation.

It is noteworthy that the expenses regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are not reflected in the budget yet. As it is mentioned in the explanatory note of the document, the mentioned expenses will be reflected in the final draft.

As for the expenditures for the ministries, allocations of the Ministry of Health were set at GEL 4,852 million, which is reduced by GEL 663.0 million compared to the 2020 approved plan.

Funding for:
Ministry of Infrastructure- set at GEL 2421.6, allocations increased by GEL 615.0 million compared to last year;
Ministry of Education - set at 1738.1, increased by GEL199.2 million;
Ministry of Agriculture- set at GEL 415.8 million;
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development- set at GEL 356.5 million;
Ministry of Justice- set at GEL 251.0 million;
Ministry of Defence- set at GEL 900.0 million;
Ministry of Internal affairs- set at GEL 790.0 million;

According to the document, in 2021, it is forecasted to receive GEL 12 200.0 million in the form of budget tax revenues. As the initial draft suggests, 5% economic growth is forecasted in the next year.

The Parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee will hold its first concluding session on October 16th. The first stage of discussing the draft budget will end by October 20th and will be sent back to the government with remarks and recommendations enclosed. The first draft of the 2021 budget must pass 3 parliamentary hearings before it comes into law. Considering that the elections are scheduled on October 31st, 2020, the final draft will be discussed by a new sitting parliament. Parliamentary opposition does not support the introduced draft budget and believes that the introduced draft budget does not correspond to the needs of society.