On July 25 The Georgian Parliament approved amendments to the 2006 state budget envisaging an increase of expenditures by GEL 323 million (USD 182,3 million).
A large portion of this sum – GEL 212,5 million (up to USD 120 million) – will be allocated to the Defense Ministry.
“Defense funding is increasing not because Georgia is on the path of militarization, but because we are actually building the defense system anew,” Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Mikheil Machavariani said.
Initially, draft amendments envisaged an increase of expenditures by GEL 77 million. However, Finance Minister Lexo Alexishvili, who presented the draft amendments to the Parliament, said that the increase by GEL 323 million was made possible as the result of a growth of revenues.
He said that by the end of 2006 GDP growth will reach two-digit figures.
The Finance Ministry reported a surplus in the collection of tax and non-tax revenues by GEL 190 million and GEL 133,8 million respectively.
Increased revenues will also be distributed to the following structures and activities: Tbilisi city municipality budget will be funded by GEL 44,5 million; GEL 9,5 million will be allocated for regional (infrastructure development) projects; GEL 25,1 million will go to the Healthcare Ministry; GEL 9,9 million (including GEL 1,6 million for Border Police) to the Interior Ministry; the Central Elections Commission will receive GEL 7,8 million for local self-governance elections scheduled for this autumn; Economy Ministry’s road department – GEL 3 million; Parliament – GEL 580 thousand.