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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 3
Fuel prices increase

Radio Tavisupleba (Radio Liberty) reports that the tension around Syria has become one of the main reasons for increasing the prices on fuel on the world market in recent months. According to the Georgian Oil product Importers’ Union this may also affect the prices in Georgia. During the last month petrol has already increased with around 5 tetris.

The president of the union, Vano Mtvralashvili, said that this summer was different compared to the previous years as there was no radical increase of prices on oil products. However, the costs started becoming higher from the end of July.

If before the last year’s parliamentary elections the most demanded Euro Regular cost 2.2 GEL, now it costs 2.5 GEL. However, as one of the activists of the protest movement of the previous years, Beka Kemularia, says, the international price of fuel, the cost of oil and selling price changes like anything else.

Vano Mtvralashvili suggests waiting for the developments around Syria.

Demur Giorkhelidze: the increase of cost of cigarettes creates smuggling threat

Interpressnews reports that according to economic analyst, Demur Giorkhelidze, the decision of the Finance Ministry to increase the excise tax on tobacco products “is not rational."

He said the fiscal effect and the ability to reach positive results are practically zero while the threat of smuggling is more vivid.

He thinks in “the country of the total unemployment” where the cigarette is the source of dealing with the stress, the poor will not unlikely drop the habit. “On the contrary, the threat of smuggling will appear and the demand of cheap cigarettes will increase,” Giorkhelidze said adding that the fiscal effect – 25 million GEL, from increasing the excise on tobacco is not “the essential amount” that can solve the problems with the budgetary revenues. “The decision is not rational. To reach real results in such a badly organized country by increasing the prices is less presumable,” he stated.

Finance Ministry released a statement about increasing the excise price on tobacco products a couple of days ago saying that from September 1st, 2013 is relevant to the approach of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Protection of Georgia aimed at the long-term control over the usage of tobacco and reduction of harm caused by smoking.