The amended draft changes to the 2021 budget were supported by the Budget and Finance Committee, and the budget was returned to Parliament unmodified.
Giorgi Kakauridze, the First Deputy Minister of Finance, indicated that the updated version included solely technical changes in the textual component, which were made in cooperation with the Legal Issues Committee.
The GDP will rise from 3.4 percent to 7.7 percent as a result of the modifications. The deficit has been lowered from 7.6% to 6.9%. The government's debt has been lowered to 54.6 percent. The government raises taxes by 1 billion 114 million GEL and boosts budget income by 1 billion 175 million GEL. The state budget will be used to spend nearly 19.5 billion GEL next year.
According to G. Kakauridze, the updated forecast of economic growth, 7.7 percent, was confirmed by the International Monetary Fund.
According to the First Deputy Minister of Finance, the Parliament had the only major remark that if additional revenues are mobilized, the accumulated amount shall be used to reduce the deficit - "This is our approach as well. If an optimistic scenario develops, we will fully resort to additional resources to reduce the deficit to 6.5 percent”.
The revised draft budget has been amended to support two more, agricultural and economic productive sector programs, and pandemic-related health care costs.The only substantial point made by the Parliament, according to the First Deputy Minister of Finance, was that if extra revenues are mobilized, the cumulative amount will be used to lower the deficit - "This is our strategy as well. If an optimistic scenario emerges, we will use all available resources to bring the deficit down to 6.5 percent.”
According to the Deputy Minister, 446 million was added to the pandemic-related health expenditures and totaled 846 million GEL. More than 150 million GEL is provided for vaccination, which perfectly covers the 60 percent of our population.
"Economic growth and our prosperity are being managed in line with COVID-19 measures. Now it is important to manage the virus properly. We need to control the target spending of each cent. The Ministry of Health must ensure that this process is irreversible”, - Irakli Kovzanadze stated.
The amendments to the budget will be submitted to the Extraordinary Plenary Session tomorrow, July 22.