Spending on social programs will increase by “about GEL 400 million” next year, Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said on December 17.
The announcement is an upward revision on an earlier estimate. On December 13, the prime minister said that an additional GEL 300 million would be spent on “the government’s new social initiatives” to help root out poverty.
“Georgia without poverty” is a major slogan of Mikheil Saakashvili’s re-election campaign, with the government increasingly emphasizing its commitment to tackling socio-economic problems, particularly since the November 7 events.
The government still has to submit to Parliament a revised draft 2008 state budget, which, according to the PM, will be more socially oriented.
Also on December 17, PM Gurgenidze said on a Rustavi 2 TV late-night political talk show, Primetime, that foreign direct investment in Georgia would amount to about USD 2 billion in 2007.