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Compiled by Lera Khubunaia
Wednesday, February 29
Electricity tariffs to increase after 2014

Business Resonance has published an exclusive report revealing that the government signed an agreement with energy provider Inter RAO in 2011, which gave the Russian company permission to increase the electricity tariff by six tetri over four years.

Until April 2011, Inter RAO had a 25-year right of ownership to power plants No. 1 and No. 2. That month, the Georgian government sold the plants to the company. Energy Minister Aleko Khetaguri called the agreement a "productive" one.

“The new agreement that was signed on April 1, 2011 stimulated Russian companies to have more [interest in] the power plants – take care of their rehabilitation, create more energy, and consequently make it more beneficial to the country’s budget,” Khetaguri said. He also noted that Inter RAO will build new hydro power plants and employ more people.

According to Business Resonance, the tariff charged by power plant No. 1 will increase from 2.3 tetri per kilowatt hour to 8.2 tetri between April 1, 2014 and December 31, 2018. Simultaneously, the tariff charged by power plant No. 2 will increase from 3.5 tetri to 9.4 tetri.

In their agreement with Inter RAO, the Georgian government included a 4-year limit to recall their assets.

Chinese workers building House of Justice

According to Kviris Palirtra, 150 employees of the Chinese company Huan Chuan, along with 60 Georgians, are building the new Tbilisi House of Justice.

The Chinese workers earn 70 GEL per day and live in amortized houses.

The union of the unemployed has called attention to the situation. “We should employ more Georgia workers and not Chinese, as the country’s [unemployment rate is] 60%. The government should be protecting the labour rights of their population; not of those from other countries. There is no quota for investors or foreign contractors to [force] them during any project... to first employ Georgians. Unfortunately, in our country foreigners live more comfortably; in very same jobs, foreigners have higher salaries than our citizens. As if the government wants their citizens to starve to death; how can they hate their people that much?” read a statement from the union.