City With Plenty of Problems Starts Preparation Activities for New Year in August
Shorena Kakabadze, Kutaisi
Kutaisi local budget for 2010, completely different from the previous one, became topic of serious discussion and critic soon after it was approved. Representatives of the opposition parties state local government approved it in unserious situation without any discussion. The NGO sector also joins the accusation.
“There are a lot of faults on the budget not to tell anything about the situation it was approved. Each lari is envisaged in the budget incorrectly and it causes daily amendments to the budget. Budget cannot be permanently amended but nobody realizes it; they do not even want to think of it,” said head of Scientific-Information Association of Imereti region Zaza Kheladze.
Amendments in the budget were discussed at the meeting of municipality board last week in Kutaisi. According to the board, 38 000 GEL was added to the capital expenses of the Kutaisi City Hall administration. At the same meeting, they discussed allocation of additional 715 000 GEL from budget which will be spent on the rehabilitation of one of the streets in the city.
Members of Kutaisi office of the Republic Party also have some complaints about local budget. Chairperson of the Kutaisi office said the local budget was approved alongside entertainment and it is incorrect. Members of Republic Party think the budget is adequate to real situation in the city and does not comply with its direct purpose – to serve the people.
“There are cases which are still urgent despite general situation. Although the budget of the current year is radically different from the last year budget and it is reduced, apparently it cannot change anything seriously. The funds for the bonuses of the officials from City Hall and municipality board in the budget was 646 600 GEL; additions to the salaries of the officials from municipality boards is 33 500 GEL; the sum allocated for the renovation of the City Hall building is 250 000 GEL; the fund for the exploitation of the vehicles of municipality board and city hall is 199 200 GEL. So, it is already clear that nothing will be changed this year either, though many problems shall be resolved in the city,” said chairperson of the Kutaisi office of Republic Party Nato Katamadze.
Experts clarify that this year budget (both local and central) are post-crisis budget and are seriously reduced.
However, it does not demonstrate the reality completely. The reason is its improvement in inadequate circumstance.
Paata Kldiashvili, head of Kutaisi office of the Young Economists Association of Georgia: “Maybe it was caused by changing of the city government. We actively participate in the working process on the budget of last year but it did not happen this year. I think, it happened because the government was changed. The city authority was changed when the budget was being worked out. Kutaisi government was changed at that time and the mayor had come into government only for several days and did not know much about it yet.”
Reduction of the local budget (this year it is 26 800 000 GEL) was caused by reducing the financial aid from the central budget. Unlike the budget, the reserve fund was seriously increased (last year it was 200 000 GEL and this year it is 500 000 GEL) which causes protest of both opposition parties and NGO sector.
They clarify priority issues have become less urgent this year though preparation activities for New Year are scheduled for 5 months and 100 000 GEL is allocated for the purpose. In the end, it means the government of the city with plenty of problems starts preparation for New Year from August.
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