The Parliament adopted the State Budget 2017 with 102 votes against 10, introduced by the Finance Minister, Dimitri Kumsishvili along with the new 4-point economic plan and expected outcomes.
He thanked the Parliament for confidence. “Today, it is my most important public speech for me, as for the Minister of Finance as I introduce the State Budget 2017, the document serving the guarantee for economic growth and is important not only in short-term period like one year but it is the basis for development of the country. It is the document to ensure welfare and stability of each of the citizens. In general, development of Georgia depends on sequence of steps to be jointly made by the Government and the society”.
The Budget is oriented to irreversible progress and development. “We are ready to accept the challenges the country encounters and continue our progress. We understand that the primary function of the Government is to create the conditions for development and opportunity of the citizens. That is why the Budget is oriented to irreversible progress and development. We all believe in the better future of Georgia and Georgian citizens”.
The healthy economic processes take place in the country and important steps are to be made in this regards. “We shall make important steps to create more local enterprises, expert-oriented manufactures, more open and free markets for substitution of import. Investments are also important. Local entrepreneurs shall make decisions on investments. It is the sphere of reforms I have mentioned and which is reflected in the Budget”. Export-oriented productions shall be facilitated in view of export development. The programs will be further financed facilitating export-oriented productions, including the state program “Produce in Georgia”.
The most important factor for further growth of export is DCFTA with EU and Free Trade Agreement with China. “However, we shall also at maximal extent support our entrepreneurs to enter the markets and the state program “Produce in Georgia” and the preferential agro-credits serve for this purpose”.
The Budget 2017 envisages extra 6.0 ml GEL for export facilitation. Export development and facilitation directions as well are attraction of direct foreign investments in export-oriented sectors, creation of industrial clusters and conduct of favorable trade policy to facilitate to elimination of non-tariff barriers and development of high quality infrastructure.
The state program will be supplemented with some components important for petty and average business. D. Kumsiashvili spoke about infrastructural projects: significant constructions on Rikoti Pass, Samtredia-Grigoleti Section, Batumi Detour and Red Bridge-Rustavi Section. 50 ml GEL is allocated for construction of Devdorak Tunnel. Annually ravaged land mass in Devdoraki Gorge entails up to 1 ml GEL loss per day. “This land mass impedes transit function and entails up to 1 ml Gel loss per day according to calculations. The decision is made envisaging provision of the stabile road”. Road construction and rehabilitation will significantly increase the tourist potential and will allow tourists visiting the sites and traveling for free. The Budget envisages construction of modern standard multifunction Sports Palaces in Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori and Telavi. “These are important infrastructural projects to facilitate to healthy life-style in four cities and which are important for the tournaments. We plan to restore the Football and Rugby stadiums in Tbilisi, Rustavi and Kutaisi”.
The Budget also envisages gas supply, development of e-transmission lines and construction of melioration systems. The Minister spoke about 4-point plan events. “The plan envisages: economic reform oriented to maximal encouragement of private sector; education reform to ensure development of human capital and effective and maximal engagement in development of the country; spatial arrangement plan covering planting regulation plans. Correct spatial arrangement will convert Georgia into the 4-season tourist country. We plan the transport network country wide. The highways will become attractive for transits and will facilitate to tourism development; public administration reform, providing development of state service policy and improvement of service quality”.
The Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Irakli Kovzanadze estimated the draft. The objective reality is that Georgia encounters economic challenges in short and mid-term perspective. The economic growth pace has been drastically reduced in the world entailing devaluation of currencies, deflation processes, reduction of prices on raw material etc. The situation on international financial market is fragile and unforeseeable. “In this situation the State Budget will become the milestone of financial stability of the country and along with the Monetary Policy conducted by the National Bank, is purposed to facilitate to macro-economic stability, inclusive and rapid economic growth, increase of employment and social improvement of the population”.
The Government cherishes the healthy political ambition in long-term perspective. The Governmental plan is based not the populist and superficial steps or solution of existing problems but envisages priorities to be creation of sustainable and long-term economic foundation. “This is why, our international partners, Ambassadors, IMF support our Government and the draft Budget confirmed with the statement by the IMF made today”.
According to the President of the National Bank, Koba Gvenetadze, despite increase of excise fees to entail increase of prices of some goods and services, the direct impact of increase will not be higher than the annual inflation index. Development of the state equity market is the necessary pre-condition for development of capital market facilitating to acceleration of long-term economic growth. Next year it is necessary to start emission of high-liquidity securities preliminarily announced.
According to the Deputy Chairperson, Irma Inashvili, the Alliance of Patriots will not support the draft. Today, the Alliance initiated to set up the Ad Hoc Governmental Commission on Mortgagers and Old Soviet Depositors. The Faction Member, Ada Marshania addressed the PM: Mr. Prime Minister, we shall urgently set up the Ad Hoc Commission on Mortgagers and Old Soviet Depositors as it is a significant issue”.
As the Majority MP, Zaza Gabunia stated, IMF has already made the statement hailing to the approaches of the Government and concentrated in the draft Budget. “It is one of the best indicators when we speak about positive impacts of the Budget”.
Minority MPs criticized drastic fall of GEL rate. The Majority MP, Mamuka Mdinaradze echoed with comparison of data for 2010 and 2016. Not only GEL but Azerbaijani Manat, Russian Rouble, Armenian Drams and EURO are devaluated towards USD. Minority MP, Irma Nadirashvili criticized the initiative of conversion of USD credits into GEL. Majority MPs gave the positive estimation to the draft.According to the Deputy Chairman, Zviad Dzidziguri, implementation of the spatial arrangement projects shall create 200 000 job opportunities.
The Majority MP, Paata Mkheidze initiated to create the free industrial zone in Rustavi to unload Tbilisi. The Parliament adopted the draft Resolution on Parliamentary Delegations. MPs adopted the draft State Budget with 102 votes against 10.