Ministry's Innovative Initiatives
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 2
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development announced a series of 'Serious initiatives' of the ministry, on July 30. It seems much of Georgian society does not perceive the initiatives as seriously as the Minister, Vera Kobalia.
“I have a significant initiative – every Friday, from 11:00 to 13:00 anyone who has made an appointment will be able to meet with me personally, ask questions on those economic issues create a better and closer relation of the Ministry with Georgian society. And by this method we will manage to solve many serious problems,” Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Kobalia said.
The second initiative she announced was a competition for Georgian pupils on the theme 'Minister for a Day'. 12th-form students from all over Georgia can participate in the competition. They can send their letters on the theme to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development up to September 15 – after which the winner will be announced he / she will become the minister for one day.
The issues concerning the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, including Kobalia’s “Serious Initiatives” have been received as comical – this was the opinion of the Oppositional New Rights towards the Ministry and Minister’s activities. 'The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and its chairperson give a far from serious impression the culmination being 30 July’s briefing in which Kobalia talked about some significant initiatives, among which was a open-door policy for the Ministry for visitors and some kind of competition among the schoolchildren. Kobalia commented that a complete misunderstanding was the reason for the Georgian Media’s totally inadequate response regarding Ministry issues. They are trying to give Kobalia’s statements such connotation as if they were significant for economic advance of the country. We appeal to the President of Georgia and Prime Minister to pay enough attention on what is going on in this Ministry,' reads the statement of the New Rights.
The Conservative Party, National Forum and the Movement for Fair Georgia together with the Sport Academy leadership and employees expressed some other complaints and appeals to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. They protested against the sale by auction of the Sport Academy Building on July 30. "The fact that 13 buildings of the Sport Academy were sold by auction for USD 14 million can be considered as selling the future of Georgian sport. We appeal tothe Ministry not to commit to such a thing. Herewith, we appeal to Georgian Businessmen not to participate in the auction,” Chair of Sport Academy Administration, Irakli Dolaberidze, said.
A certain number of analysts have already openly criticized Kobalia and consider her less than competent in the Economic arena. Others however believe it is still too early to comment. The fact that Vera Kobalia is opening the doors of the Ministry every Friday to visitors and will personally talk with them on economic issues, can only be considered a positive step. I also welcome her statements on the annihilation of nepotism in the ministry - she has already dismissed some department chairs. However it should be investigated why those people were dismissed – were they really incompetent or were they just not cooperative members of her team? Only after such an investigation will it be possible to make proper comments on the Minister’s activities. Of course, the Ministry of Economy is the foremost responsible for economic sphere’s advance and development in the country. This issue is also very much dependent on the Tax code, The Ministry of Finance and some other structures’ according working. In my opinion, for now, it is too early to comment how good or bad Minister Kobalia is,” analyst, Nika Chitadze told The Messenger.