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Opposition propose plan to tackle inflation in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, January 28
Opposition party New Rights has suggested a concrete plan aimed at combating inflation in the country to the authorities, on January 27. As they have mentioned, inflation has reached a dangerous level in Georgia which the current Government could not manage adequately. The same theme has also been a key topic for the leader of Fair Georgia, Zurab Noghaideli.

New Rights have appealed to the authority to “carry out urgent measures to stop the inflation process in the country” especially, when the current difficult situation is the product of the Government’s wrong economic policy, “for the situation to be improved, the 2011 state budget should be brought back to the Parliament for a new discussion. The expenses of the budget should be tightly limited, which would enable us to reduce taxes such as GDP and excise.” The second precondition was the removal of unofficial restrictions on customs from the authorities’ side on food and on the items of every day usage. At the same time, in order to assist local business, preliminary detention for economic crimes should be abolished and the Georgian parliament should implement that change in the law quickly. The final suggestion was related to privileges for agricultural development, “Investments, manufacturing and bioconversion in agriculture should be free of any state tax for 5 years.”

No concrete suggestions have been made from Noghaideli’s side. However his statements had one thing in common with New Rights' attitude regarding the issue, “The authorities' statement that there is economic growth in the country is wrong. Based on the official index inflation rate, it has exceeded 11 % and on food 23 %. In such hard times, the authorities are more interested in somehow preserving their power, rather than looking for an outcome from the hard reality.”

Even more pessimistic in its assessment was the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, “Unfortunately we should not expect any improvement in this direction. The authorities state that the current situation is not their fault. The authority which is unable to solve its country's problems, should resign,” the Movement member, Tamar Tsintsabadze, said.

The authorities are, naturally, more optimistic on the issue. They are more focused on tourism, infrastructure and agricultural development, which, according to them, will solve inflation and some other painful problems for the country, “we should develop our agriculture as it will enable us to get double profit from this field. Our response to inflation and poverty would be a successful economy,” President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, stated.

As economic analyst, Gia Khukhashvili, stated for The Messenger, “I agree with these appeals and share their suggestions, however I would have some additional suggestions as well, especially in the direction of strong and real anti monopoly service in this direction.” However the analyst does not think that these suggestions would work, “everyone knows that no one from the authorities would accept these suggestions.”