Vazha Verulidze: “Batumi Budget Does not Target Social Problems”
Summer season has started in Batumi. In summer Batumi self-government spends more resources on leisure, entertainment and cultural programs than on social or health programs.
And where the most part of the city budget is spent? Humanrights.ge interviewed chairmen of the Batumi City Council Vazha Verulidze about this and other issues: “Batumi Budget gets 80 % of its funds as a transfer from the central state budget. We also get considerable part of our budget from the revenues of the Adjara Autonomous Republic. Most part of money is focused on the development of infrastructure. But, some funds are envisaged for social and health programs too. 14 social programs are funding from the city budget in 2012; 9 million lari has been allocated for this purpose. It is important that 5, 2 million lari is allocated for the construction of social accommodations for eco-migrants. Of course, it is not enough for all social problems we have in the city.”
As for the healthcare program, which is funded by the city budget, the respondent said 736 thousand lari was allocated for the implementation of this program in 2012. “It is fact that neither this sum is enough to meet public needs particularly when part of budget revenues is unreasonably spent, I think,” Vazha Verulidze said.
We inquired what he meant under unreasonable expenditure of funds and he answered: “For example construction of football stadium which cost 2 million lari; construction of Chacha [vodka] tower and different sculptures in Batumi. Solid funds are allocated on similar projects from the city budget. For example 100 thousand Euro was allocated from the city budget for the model summer theater. The plan was declined and the money spent on it was wasted. People do not definitely look forward metal balls in the streets, which will cost half million lari, when there are many social and economic problems in Batumi. I think these problems must be attended at the first stage in the city in order to improve living conditions of population.”
Nino Mshvidobadze, Batumi