The Plenary Session of the Parliament

16 Oct 2019
The Plenary Session of the Parliament

MPs started with consideration of the draft organic law on Local Self-Government Code introduced by the Deputy Labor Minister, Zaza Bokhua with the I reading.

The draft envisages emergency medical aid to no longer be attributed to Tbilisi. Besides, the draft merges the LEPL Medical Emergency Center with the LEPL Emergency Coordination and Urgent Assistance Center subordinated to the Refugees Ministry. “One Dispatching Office will be more flexible during emergency and various situations allowing us improving management and rendering timely aid to our citizens”, - the reporter noted. The draft submitted with accelerated consideration was supported by 86 MPs.

The Parliament discussed the revised draft State Budget 2019 introduced by the Deputy Finance Minister, Giorgi Kakauridze. “Revision is conditioned with the education reform envisaging allocation of extra resources for two components: 75 ml GEL for the awards for the retired pedagogues and the increased salaries for the head, leading and mentor pedagogues. The awards are issued in the amount of 2-year salary; and the salaries are increased with 150 GEL. It will take extra 20 ml GEL”.

The second direction is the infrastructural projects. “In the first half of the year, we in cooperation with the respective agencies have identified the projects that might entail risks in consumption of the sum. Within the same period, we have identified the projects as well envisaged in the budget 2020 with possibility of acceleration. Hence, we have replaced the projects. Part of the projects are replaced form 2019 to 2020, and another part from 2020-2021 to 2019. These are the projects envisaging second lane of Kutaisi detour and Kobi-Kvesheti section construction”.

The economic growth remains unchanged at 4.5% similar to the deficit is unchanged at 2.6%. The draft increases the revenues part with 92.8 ml GEL to constitute 12 956.5 ml GEL, including 10 540.4 ml GEL incomes increased with 52.7 ml GEL. Forecast of other incomes also increase with 45 ml GEL to constitute 505 ml GEL. Grants index is defined with 390.4 ml GEL (increased with 7.7ml GEL) within the MCC program. Non-financial asset reduction proceeds plan increase with 10.0 ml GEL to constitute 80 ml GEL. Financial asset reduction index remains unchanged at 120 ml GEL. The liabilities envisage replacement – the long-term and preferential loans for investment projects are being reduced with 369.9 ml GEL and issue of the domestic securities is increased with 400 ml GEL.

As to the expenditure part, state assignments increase with 223.1 ml GEL to constitute 13 313.1 ml GEL. The reporter answered the questions about the pension scheme, infrastructural projects, project replacement, education reform, social allowances for IDPs, Legal Aid Service and State Inspector Service, early and pre-school education etc.

The co-reporter, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee Irakli Kovzanadze delivered his speech: “The bill is based on the fiscal framework for 2019-2020 approved by IMF and envisaging restriction of growth of expenses, gradual reduction of budget deficit and funding the scheduled reforms and priority projects. GDP real growth forecast is maintained at 4.5%, nominal GDP growth is defined with 44 857 ml GEL, and according to the program communicated with the IMF, the calculated deficit is maintained within 2.6% of GDP. The Governmental debt towards GDP constitutes 44.3%. Both these parameters – deficit and Governmental debt are in compliance with the international standards and requirements of the legislation of Georgia. State revenues increase with 92.8 ml GEL and constitutes 12 956.5 ml GEL instead of 12 863.0 ml GEL. Taxes are increased with 223 ml GEL and achieve 13 313.0 ml GEL”.

The draft has been discussed by the Committees and returned with the conclusions. “We have issued the remarks regarding growth of macro-economic indices and inflation. Considering the remarks, we approved the changes”, - I. Kovzanadze noted.

MPs discussed with the I reading the bill on Tax Code exempting from VAT and import taxes provision and/or import of goods purposed for the medical treatments of the tobacco-addicted under the list approved under the joint Decree of the Ministry of Refugees, Labor, Health and Social Protection and the Ministry of Finance.

The bill ensures accessibility to medicines facilitating the smokers to quit”, - the Chair of the Health Care and Social Issues Committee, Akaki Zoidze noted.

Accessibility to the medicines will be reflected to the public health and reduce the healthcare expenses of the state and the patient.

A. Zoidze also introduced with the I reading the bill on Rights of the Patient envisaging the right of the patient to enjoy the high-quality medical service. Hence, it is strictly prohibited to impede medical personnel in exercising their functions. “The bill improves protection of the rights of the patients, which is as well related to the damageable tendency – violence – psychological and physical pressure on medical personnel and social servants upon fulfillment of their duties”.

The bill entails respective changes to the Code of Administrative Offenses envisaging administrative responsibility for impediment in professional activity of medical personnel; and respective changes to the Criminal Code, adding the actions committed in relation with the professional activity of the medical and/or social personnel to the Code.

MPs voted the bills discussed with the I, II and III readings:

  • The bill on Forest Code (I reading) regulating forest policy, management and oversight, forest registration and planning, forest common and special use, economic cut, non-timber resources, timber resources, plantations, forest use for agricultural purpose, recreation, sports and other cultural recreation purpose, fish economy and hunting etc. The bill was approved by 92 MPs;
  • The bill on Broadcasting (I reading), envisaging withdrawal of the regulation that one and the same person cannot be elected as the Chair of the GNCC for more than 1 term. The bill changes the rule for dismissal of the Chair. It was approved by 84 MPs and rejected by 14;
  • The bill on Code of Administrative Offenses (III reading) where the moment of accounting of the 10-day term for appeal, instead of the resolving, is related to delivery of the resolution to the party. Besides, in case of failure of delivery, it will be promulgated under the Civil Code of Practice and considered delivered at the third day. The bill was approved by 91 MPs;
  • The bill on Tobacco Control (III reading) envisaging the terms; “new tobacco product”, “cigarette”, “e-cigarette” and regulating obligations of the importers/producers of e-cigarettes or other material containing nicotine/cartridge/capsule. 76 MPs approved the bill;
  • The bill on Facilitation to Elimination of Money Laundry and Financing Terrorism (II reading) regulating assessment and management of risks, preventive measures, provision of information, confidentiality, compliance control, financial monitoring etc. 88 MPs approved the bill.

MPs also voted and approved the draft resolutions, including: Loan Agreement between KFW, Frankfurt am Main and Georgia represented by the Finance Minister (debtor) (vocational education program 1); Loan Agreement between Georgia and IBRD (energy supply reliability and financial improvement project); Loan Agreement between Georgia and IBRD of March 28, 2016 (national innovative eco-system project), letter agreement of Change N1; Loan Agreement between Georgia and ADB (ordinary transactions) (North-South Corridor) etc.

The next plenary session will be held on October 17 at 12h00.

MPs will hear the Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani within the Ministerial Hour.