Bill proposes defence budget reaches at least 2% of GDP

The 2014 annual budget for Georgia’s Defence was 2.24 percent of this year’s forecast GDP. Photo by, 21 May 2014 - 14:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Ministry of Defence has proposed a bill outlining the annual Defence Ministry budget should not drop below two percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Defence Minister Irakli Alasania said in the current climate when 20 percent of Georgia’s territory was being occupied by military forces, it was "very logical” to increase the country’s defence budget.

Alasania believed the ongoing development of the local economy would give the country the opportunity to increase the budget of the Defence Ministry.

"Georgia is in a very different position compared to other countries where one fifth of the country’s territory is occupied by occupant country’s military forces. It is also a standard that Georgia has to implement on its way to Euro and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Alasania said.

The 2014 annual budget for Georgia’s Defence was 660 million GEL, which was 2.24 percent of this year’s forecast GDP.

The highest Defence budget in the last ten year was 1.5 billion GEL in 2008, which at the time was more than 7.8 percent of the country’s GDP.

Since 2008 the Defence budget has declined but had always remained above two percent of country’s GDP.

The draft proposal is part of legislative changes to the law on Defense. The changes outline creating legal framework for the recently established state security and crisis management council, chaired by the Prime Minister. The newly established council replaced the National Security Council, chaired by the President.

The draft bill also outlined transferring some of the Presidential authorities to the Government. These changes include ensuring the Government submits the national security concept to Parliament for approval, ensuring the Government also confirms the plan for military-operative arrangement of the country's territory, and the civil defence plan, as well as plans for development, use and mobilization of the Georgian Armed Forces.