Parliament approves updated 2023 state budget

The document was approved by 84 votes in favour and one against earlier today. Photo: Parliament of Georgia, 15 Dec 2022 - 16:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Parliament has approved the updated 2023 Georgian state budget, with the document planned with an economic growth forecast of five percent, the Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday.

The document was approved by 84 votes in favour and one against earlier today, and involves estimation of the nominal gross domestic product at ₾79.7 billion ($30bln). The budget deficit is set out at 2.8 percent, while debt and other incomes for 2023 are in sum increased by ₾270 million ($101.71mln).

Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili said on Wednesday the agreed version of the budget provided a ₾660 million ($248.63mln) increase for financial resources, while revenues to the budget were increased by ₾2.1 billion ($0.79bln) and constituted ₾21.9 billion ($8.25bln). Income is increased by ₾1.8 billion ($0.68bln) and reaches ₾17.6 billion ($6.63bln).

Expenditure assignments are increased in the document by ₾2 billion ($0.75bln) and constitute ₾21.9 billion ($8.25bln). The highest share is allocated to the Health, Labour and IDP Ministry, with its budget reaching ₾6.9 billion ($3.40bln), most of which will be consumed by social programmes - increased pensions, targeted social aids, medical services, salaries for the medical personnel and accommodation of internally displaced people. 

The budget of the Ministry of Infrastructure will constitute ₾3.3 billion ($1.24bln), of which ₾1.9 billion ($0.72bln) will be consumed by road construction projects and the remaining funds will be expended on water supply rehabilitation and schools.

Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili. Photo: Ministry of Finance

The budget for the Ministry of Education will reach ₾2 billion ($0.75bln), a part of which will be spent on salaries of teachers and resource officers. Salaries for them will be increased by ₾125 ($47.09), while wages for administrative and technical personnel at schools will be increased by 10 percent. The budget also envisages salaries for vocational teachers to increase by ₾15-18 ($5.65-$6.78) per hour.

The budget is also increased for the Ministry of Defence, with the figure estimated at ₾1.3 billion ($0.49bln). The budget will be spent on salaries of servicemembers, which have been increased by 20 percent.

For the Interior Ministry, the 2023 budget is set at ₾1.1 billion ($0.41bln) and is also designated with a 20 percent increase in salaries of police officers.

A budget of ₾431.2 million ($162.44mln) will be designated to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, with a 10 percent raise in wages for employees in the sector.

Finally, the budget of the Government Administration will reach ₾22 million ($8.29mln), while for the Presidential Administration it will be ₾9.3 million ($3.50mln).