The Georgian Parliament has approved the state budget for the upcoming year of 2018.
The document presented by new Financial Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, was unanimously approved by the MPs with 111 votes in favor.
Debates and discussion preceded the voting all day long.
The total volume of the state budget increases reaching 12,441 billion GEL.
The Committee considered the drafts on Declaring the law on National Investment Agency Void; State Support of Investments; Grants and Tax Code, introduced by the Deputy-Economic Minister, Irma Kavtaradze.
The changes annul the legislative act setting up the LEPL National Investment Agency. The law on National Investment Agency is declared void and the Government has the 30-day term upon enactment of the hereof law for wind-up of the Agency. The successor of the NIA is defined to be the LEPL Produce in Georgia at the Ministry of Economy. The Committee supported the drafts.
The Committee considered the drafts by GNCC on E-Communications; Broadcasting; License and Permission Fees; License and Permits and on National Regulation Bodies.
The GNCC Chair, Vakhtang Abashidze elucidated that the part of changes concerns facilitation to media literacy development. “Today, the information field in electronic and broadcasting media became complicated for acknowledgment. It is hard to response to propaganda messages. Media literacy implies public awareness to provide the population with the ability of critical thinking”.
This is the issue under development by European countries. There are the programs and scientific and analytical studies in this direction. The Committee considered it expedient to hold further consultations prior to the decision.
Several state agencies funding is reduced. According to the 2017 draft budget, which will be discussed in Parliament committee sessions, funds of a number of ministries and other state structures is less than in 2016.
In particular, funding for the National Security Council, which this year was the 2-million, in 2017 will be 800 000. As for the State Security and Crisis Management Council, it will receive only 3,8 ml Gel. From 20 million to 17 million is cut funding for government administration.
As for the Interior Ministry – the fund is decreased by 10 ml Gel. This budget will regard to Intelligence services, Justice Ministry, Department of Penitentiary, Foreign Ministry, Energy Ministry and others.