The FINANCIAL — On 21 July 2017, the Minister of Finance of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili, at the annual gathering of the heads of Georgia’s diplomatic representations, stated: “In order to accelerate infrastructural projects, GEL 1,143,800 from the consolidated budget was allocated for capital expenditures. This is GEL 269.7 million more as compared to the figure of the previous year.”
FactCheck took interest in the accuracy of the statement.
The Minister in his statement refers to 2017 January-June data. FactCheck was unable to obtain information about total sum of funds spent on infrastructural projects from the consolidated budget 1 in that period. However, money spent on infrastructural projects is mostly included in the budget’s non-financial actives growth article. The tendency of expenses from that article largely determines the changes in funding of infrastructural projects in general.
According to the monthly data of Georgia’s consolidated budget, GEL 624 million was spent on purchase of non-financial actives in January-June 2017, whilst GEL 526 million (19% less) was spent in the first six months of 2016. This year, GEL 1,662 million in total is allocated to grow the non-financial actives, which is GEL 513 million more as compared to 2016 figure.
Georgia’s 2017 state budget’s non-financial actives are scheduled to increase by GEL 999 million. According to 2016 plan, non-financial actives would have increased by GEL 750 million, whilst in fact, growth constituted GEL 662 million. On that account, 2017 plan is 33% more as compared to 2016 plan and 51% more as compared to actual fulfilment rate of 2016 plan.
According to the information about capital projects envisioned by the 2017 state budget, GEL 1,556 million (growth of non-financial actives as well as other sources of funding) is allocated for capital projects. The most expensive project is urban services development programme (water supply and sewage sector) with GEL 139 million allocated for it. It is followed by expenditures for Batumi’s new bypass road, which is estimated as GEL 133 million. Additional GEL 105 million is allocated for rehabilitation of highways and GEL 85 million is allocated for the development of educational and scientific facilities’ infrastructure. Further, nearly GEL 70 million is allocated for modernisation and construction of 50 kilometre long section of Samtredia-Grigoleti highway.
This year, the amount of funds allocated for infrastructural projects is increased as compared to the previous year. According to Georgia’s consolidated budget, GEL 513 million more is allocated for the growth of non-financial actives in 2017 as compared to what was the figure in 2016.
FactCheck was unable to fully obtain information given in Dimitri Kumsishvili’s statement about the amount of funds allocated from the consolidated budget on capital expenditures to accelerate the infrastructural projects. However, in the first six months of 2017, 19% more money was spent on the growth of non-financial actives as compared to the same period of 2016.
Therefore, FactCheck leaves Dimitri Kumsishvili’s statement WITHOUT A VERDICT