TBILISI Oct 5 Georgia's government submitted a
2017 budget draft to parliament on Wednesday forecasting gross
domestic product (GDP) growth of 4 percent.
The former Soviet republic had been hit by falling exports
and remittances and a plunge in the Russian rouble.
However, the situation has improved since April, with the lari
currency stabilising and remittances and imports growing again.
Georgia, which is criss-crossed by pipelines carrying
Caspian oil and gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, saw its economy
expand 2.7 percent in the first eight months of the year
compared with the same period a year before, when growth was
running at 2.8 percent.
The government has said it expects 3 percent growth in 2016,
compared with 2.8 percent in 2015 and 4.6 percent the year
The 2017 budget draft sees revenues at 8.71 billion lari
($3.8 billion), up from 8.8 billion lari expected this year, and
spending at 8.78 billion lari, down from 10.1 billion lari
projected in 2016.
The government expects 8.17 billion lari in tax revenues in
2017, 190 million lari above this year's target.
The budget draft is to be approved by a new parliament,
which will be elected in a parliamentary election on Oct. 8.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alexander Smith)