The MPs agreed on the schedule of consideration of the draft state budget 2021. As the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Irakli Kovzanadze elucidated, the consideration starts on October 6 in the Committee and Faction format, and on September 16, the Budget and Finance Committee is to hold the resuming sitting. The consideration shall be accomplished on October 20 and the draft shall be returned to the Government with the remarks and recommendations by the Parliament.
The Bureau discussed the new legislative initiatives and determined the leading and mandatory Committees.
The Bureau discussed the draft state budget 2021 and the enclosed documents.
I. Kovzanadze informed MPs about the macro-economic parameters stating that the budget for 2021 is planned for the 5% economic growth considering 3% of inflation and 5.1% of the deficit. As to the assignments, they constitute 17,07 bl. GEL and the tax incomes are increased to 10.4 bl. GEL.
“All the liabilities declared by the state are maintained in the draft including the pensions, salaries of pedagogues, military men and the policemen”, - he stated.
“I am positive and optimistic that the budget for 2021 is planned on the economic growth which indicates to the fact that the decisions and policy adopted for the stabilization and restoration of the economy allow the optimism, and besides, the budget for 2021 is planned on the inflation reduction and the Government intends to reduce it to 3%”, - the Speaker, Archil Talakvadze stated and made elucidations: “It is important that the Government intends to reduce the budget deficit in 2021. The document also provides an increased tax income forecast with 609.7 bl. GEL. There are some other issues that are noteworthy, including that the pensions under this document are increased as of January 2021, and especially for the pensioners over 70. It is also noteworthy that due to the socio-economic aggravation entailed of the pandemic, the budget reflects 60 ml. purposed for the social allowances as promised, and for the subsidizing the utility fees”.
He emphasized the fact of increased financing of the Regional Development and Infrastructure Ministry, which envisages the creation of new job opportunities and restoration of the economy, besides, the budget provides the accommodation of the IDPs and facilitation of the migrants.
The financing of the Education, Science, Culture and Sports spheres are increased with 199 ml GEL evidencing that despite the pandemic, these directions remain the priorities. “Despite the global pandemic and the inflicted damage, education remains the priority of the Government, and it is connected with the long-term economic development and the promise we gave to society about the education reform”, - the Speaker stated.
The Bureau discussed the bill on Argo-tourism. “Almost half of the population of the country resort to agriculture. It is the sector to be further developed. Tourism is quite developed in Georgia but agro-tourism as a separate industrial direction is poorly developed. On the one hand, it will facilitate the agriculture and additional incomes in the villages, and on the other hand, it will further develop and improve the travel services, and besides, it will facilitate the production of local goods, and allow more preferences for the farmers and enactment of more state programs in this direction”, - Otar Danelia stated.
The Bureau rejected the accelerated consideration of the draft organic law on the Election Code initiated by Levan Koberidze.
“Our political team – Georgian Dream – initiated the changes to the Election Code at the previous session, envisaging the mandatory participation of the political parties and their leaders in open political debates on the public broadcaster. We fulfill the obligation within the term and in the form as established under the law. The public broadcaster is a neutral territory and arena creation equal opportunities for all”, - the Speaker noted.
The draft by L. Koberidze, he noted, envisages the same standard on other broadcasters. “It means that Mr. Koberidze dislikes the standard introduced by the Georgian Dream”, - he stated and added that according to the CoE principles, it is not expedient and recommended to amend the Election Code shortly before the E-day.
“The principle of the Council of Europe is not to introduce any changes to the Election Code 1 year prior to the Elections, however, it was communicated with our society, political parties and international partners. Correspondingly, now, the amendments to the Election Code and especially with the accelerated consideration is the issue to be resolved by us all”, - the Speaker stated.
The Bureau rejected the initiative and discussed the organizational issues.