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Aid Apportioned for the Ministry with the Budget of 800 Million GEL

10.04.2012

Nodar Skhirtladze, Gori, opinion.ge

The tradition continued in 2012 and all district administrations in the Shida Kartli region allocated significant funds for the local offices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Gori district administration was leader in funding, as the district with largest budget. 157 000 GEL was transferred to Vano Merabishvili’s institution from the sum collected by Gori resident tax-payers.

Khashuri district administration has total 8 million GEL in its annual budget. It is three times less than in Gori. Despite that, Khashuri municipal board allocated 155 000 GEL for the MIA and prepared additional 102 000 GEL as reserve for defense activities.

Kareli district administration also managed to accumulate humble funds for the MIA, just 60 000 GEL for the patronage of local police offices.

Kaspi district administration did not backward others and the members of the Kaspi municipal council also voted for the allocation of additional funds for the MIA.

Opposition political parties protested the additionally allocated funds to the MIA several times. For example, Soso Vakhtangashvili from the National Forum and new political coalition Georgian Dream cannot understand why the local district budgets should additionally fund the ministry which has annual 800 million GEL budget.

Soso Vakhtangashvili: “All district administrations are instructed to find certain amount of funds for the MIA. It does not happen only in Shida Kartli region; it happens everywhere throughout Georgia. You can see that in 2012 every district budget certain amount of funds are envisaged for the MIA. It is unclear why only MIA should receive those funds. Any Ministry can request additional funding from district budgets.”

Representatives of local authority and opposition parties held discussions once in several months in the Center of Civic Engagement which is functioning with the US embassy’s support. About a week ago, head of Gori office of the Georgian Party criticized Zviad Khmaladze, chair of the Gori municipal council for the funds allocated for the district police department. Khmaladze replied to his critical statement and said: funding of the police department does not contradict the law. Instead, the MIA spends huge funds for the development of Gori Football Club “Dila”.

Zviad Khmaladze: “I and other council members too, as well as big part of our society will never spare money for the police to encourage them for better job. Second significant issue is that here we encounter with purely pragmatic approach to the issue. The MIA has invested more than one million GEL in the Gori Football Club Dila and the Gori district administration could not do it. I do not think it is acceptable to fund the football club from the district budget. Unfortunately, nobody else wished to invest money it and luckily the MIA took responsibility to patronage the club. We have not breached the law by allocating money for the MIA; they have done much more for us. What do not you like in it?!”

Nevertheless, the district budgets allocated additional funds to the MIA during previous years too when the Gori Football Club was funded from the local budget. Opposition members think it is impossible that council members in every district of Georgia simultaneously decided to fund MIA. The opponents believe the central authority instructed the local officials to make similar decision and conclude that there is no real self-governance in Georgia.

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