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At a meeting with media representatives held on 16 January 2014, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili stated:  “In 2013 the expenditures of the Ministry [of Regional Development and Infrastructure] under Davit Narmania exceeded those of the last year by around 130 million. Therefore, claims about Narmania’s Ministry failing to employ the funds fully are inaccurate. On the contrary, a 250 kilometre-long road has been built and rehabilitation activities have been completed on 30 bridges.”

FactCheck

checked the accuracy of the above given statement.

In the course of our research we contacted the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. In line with the information provided by the Ministry a total of GEL 767,980,011 was allotted to the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure in the adjusted state budget of 2012 of which only GEL 655,075,159 has been spent. The website of the Ministry of Finance publishes the budget of 2012 which describes in detail the plan of the infrastructural projects to be implemented in 2012 as well as the budget execution report for the same period.

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According to the adjusted state budget of 2013, the funding earmarked for the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure comprised GEL 1,003,599,798. Of this amount the Ministry administered solely GEL 783,187,855. The 2013 state budget also presents the plan of projects to be implemented in 2013 and the execution report of this plan covering a period of nine months. As of today, the Ministry of Finance still has not published the execution report for the entire 12 months.

It is worthwhile noting that the adjusted budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure has grown by GEL 235,619,787 as compared to 2012. It is also to be born in mind that under Davit Narmania, the Ministry employed only 78% of the sum while in 2012 the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure managed to administer 85% of the budget.

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As for the second part of the Prime Minister’s statement concerning the building of roads and the rehabilitation of bridges, the data received from the Ministry reveals that the rehabilitation work was performed on a 260 kilometre-long section of the road while roads with a total length of 28.4 kilometres were constructed in Georgia (of which a section of 15.4 kilometres was opened for traffic).

The Ministry also reports that nine new bridge crossings were constructed in 2013 throughout the whole of Georgia and rehabilitation activities have been completed on 45 automobile bridges.

Conclusion

Our query about the accuracy of Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement revealed that in 2013 the adjusted budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure surpassed the budget of 2012 by over GEL 235 million. The Ministry has indeed administered about GEL 128 million more in 2013 as compared to 2012. However, in 2013, under Davit Narmania the Ministry did not employ the funds fully and spent only 78% of the budget while in 2012, 85% of the earmarked funding was administered by the Ministry. Accordingly, this pathos of Irakli Gharibashvili is not entirely accurate.

As for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges, the information received from the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure confirms the assertion of the Prime Minister.

Consequently, we conclude that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement:  “In 2013 the expenditures of the Ministry [of Regional Development and Infrastructure] under Davit Narmania exceeded those of the last year by around 130 million. Therefore, claims about Narmania’s Ministry failing to employ the funds fully are inaccurate. On the contrary, a 250 kilometre-long road has been built and rehabilitation activities have been completed on 30 bridges,” is MOSTLY TRUE.

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