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Gori Municipal Assembly Approved 2020 Municipal Budget


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On December 24, the Gori municipal assembly approved the 2020 municipal budget at the special session. Next year Gori municipality will have 42, 9 million GEL budget. According to the main financial document of 2020, the local budget will have 5 key priorities. Most of the funds – about 16 million GEL will be spent on the construction, rehabilitation and exploitation of the infrastructure. In 2020, 15 million GEL will be spent on the promotion of education, culture, sport and youth. Up to 3 million GEL will be spent on cleaning and environmental activities. 2 million GEL will be spent on the healthcare and social welfare of the local population.

The Gori municipality mayor Konstantine Tavzarashvili also attended the session. During the session, he and the members of the opposition parties had several disputes over the budget project.

“You increased the salary fund with 80 000 GEL in 2020 while the employees of the kindergartens will have their salaries raised only from September 1, 2020. I wonder why you intend to raise their salaries in September instead January,” Vasilisa Jabakhidze, assembly member from the United National Movement, asked the mayor, who answered: “You know that the salaries of the school teachers raised; now the government intends to increase salaries for the kindergarten personnel too but we wanted to contribute to the salary-raise on our side too and scheduled it from September 2020,” the Gori municipality mayor said.

With majority of votes, the municipal assembly approved the 2020 budget; more precisely, 28 deputies voted for the 2020 budget project, 3 deputies voted against it and 1 did not participate in the ballot. From the opposition members of the assembly, only Tamar Kodoshvili of the Alliance of Patriots supported the budget project.

“They more or less envisaged the remarks of our fraction in the budget with regard to drinking water and road rehabilitation initiatives; therefore I voted for the budget,” Tamar Kodoshvili said.

Papuna Koberidze from the Development Movement did not participate in the ballot.

“When the City Hall first presented the budget project, I had some remarks and sent them to the city hall. However, they did not envisage my recommendations in the final project. I did not vote against the budget because if it is dropped, the population will have problems. So, I protested the budget by not participating in the ballot,” Papuna Koberidze clarified.

The assembly deputies from the UNM voted against the budget. Vasilisa Jabakhidze said the budget does not reflect the public interest. Gori municipality mayor does not agree with the opposition. Konstantine Tavzarashvili said the interests of the municipality population are well-reflected in 2020 budget.

“Village program, city budget, social programs – all these serve the interests of population and we planned the budget accordingly. How can anybody say that the budget does not meet the needs of the people, when the programs envisaged in it were dictated by the people,” Tavzarashvili said.
After the budget was approved, the debates between the mayor and opposition members continued over the expenditure part of the budget. Vasilisa Jabakhidze said the municipality city hall had 2 million GEL left from the 2019 budget though the mayor does not agree with her.

“By now, we have fully spent the 2019 budget but we will have some leftover sums because we expect some more income by the end of the year. It may amount to 2 million GEL but it does not mean that we failed to spend the allocated funds. The leftover funds will move to the next year budget and will be spent on the development of our municipality. So, I suggest the opposition members to stop misleading the population,” Konstantine Tavzarashvili clarified.

The opposition protested 80 000 GEL increase of the salaries of the city hall personnel in 2019 but the mayor answered that before the New Year holidays they had envisaged bonuses for their employees. The opposition protested his statement and Vasilisa Jabakhidze showed Konstantine Tavzarashvili a letter she had received from the city hall, which stated that the municipality city hall did not have funds to assist socially vulnerable families for the New Year. However, the mayor said that they collected some funds in the local budget and the city hall will distribute some gifts for the socially vulnerable families for New Year Holidays. 

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