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Crisis breaks stone walls: authorities and opposition in search of money2009-04-28 12:49
Tbilisi rallies have been in full swing for three weeks. The authorities and opposition keep accusing each other of provocations and economic downturn. It is still an open-ended question who will be responsible for all. Meanwhile the opponents are getting more worried about money matters. Analysts predict budget cuts and the opposition have already started collection of donations.
With the beginning of spring the economic problems have become an urgent topic. Since April 9 the capital has plunged into a wave of "cell-cage" confrontation. The authorities have repeatedly stated the opposition that is organizing staged protests scares potential investors away and must be in charge of the economic downturn. The opposition retorts saying that people went out on the streets because of endless errors of the authorities including economic missteps. Who's right and who's to blame? A rhetorical question. One thing is clear: both the authorities and opposition are quite concerned about the lack of money.
Last week Georgian media reported on coming problems of budget execution. Budget expenditures have already exceeded budget revenues by 64 mln lari. Last year's pending budget amount is 753 mln lari. From January to March the state budget allocations were 1 bln 442 mln lari with the revenues amounting to 378 mln only.
According to ex Finance Minister Lexo Lexishvili against the background of the financial crisis and political tension there has always been a risk that budget execution will be a problem. "If the tendency continues in the future the budget deficit financing will be provided out of internal sources. Or the government will suggest cutting expenses or issuing treasury bonds", - Lexishvili is quoted on Kommersant radio. The experts forecast a 1 bln-lari budget deficit as stated by expert Shota Gvenetadze on Kommersant radio. According to him this is connected with the reduction in imports/ exports and total GDP.
Another expert, David Narmania, also tells about the danger of budget collapse. "Presently the budget has insufficient tax proceeds. The reasons of possible budget collapse are the country's economic situation and the crisis. The expenditure policy must be reconsidered and only vital spheres must be budget-financed", - he states.