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Government Lays Out 2011 Achievements

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 19
A government sitting was held on December 18, and Prime Minister Nika Gilauri spoke about the achievements of the current year and outlined future plans. At the same time, the Ministers of Agriculture and Culture underlined the upcoming plans of the ministries.

As Gilauri mentioned, by the end of the year government sittings will be held two times a week, “as all the ministries should deliver information on the current year’s achievements, problems and future prospects.” While assessing the current year, the prime minister emphasized that Georgia has kept stability in the economy and will end the year ”with 6.5 % economic growth, the highest figure in the region.” The prime minister added that, ”export reached a record peak in 2011 - nearly USD 2 billion worth of exports were made during the last 11 months, which is 40% more compared to last year.”

Gilauri also reported that the next government sitting would be held in Kutaisi, in the newly built House of Government.

The protection of the cultural environment and its popularization would be the main priorities for the Ministry of Culture for 2012. At the same time reforming different sectors of the ministry would be on agenda.

Agriculture, which was named as one of the priorities in the state budget for 2012, has some positive plans for the future as well. These include introducing new technologies, retraining of farmers, building big farms and import substitution.

The government believes that all challenges and needs are reflected in the 2012 state budget. However, different attitudes appear among both the parliamentary and non parliamentary opposition, which say that the 2012 budget is in the authorities' interests rather than the interests of Georgian society.

According to economic analyst, Nodar Khaduri, there is no significant difference between the 2010 and 2011 state budgets. As he states, 2011 was a period of world crisis and optimism that the Georgian economy is going to get better is hubristic. ”In 2007, economic growth was 12%, 2011 concluded the degradation of the economy through the 2008-2009 years,“ the analyst said. He also stated which spheres would be most important prior for the authorities: ”tax administration should be simplified for small and medium business, this sphere should be taken as an employment field and not one oriented on income to the budget.” He also mentioned that the development of agriculture is very important, ”however, there are some decisions that are separated from reality” such as the hybrid corn program which was made “without preparation“ and which affected a serious number of farmers. At the same time, politically motivated acts against businesses such as that against Cartu Bank, creates negative influences on the economy.

As for 2012 state budget the analyst stated that it is obvious that the election campaigns are already in full swing. ”Social expenses are to increase which will be easy for the citizens to mention. The authorities moved solving social problems up to September but now the election period is upon us. I welcome infrastructural projects, however more money is being allocated for PR rather that some real positive changes to economy,“ Khaduri says.