Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri has stated that the budget had to allocate 9 million GEL for the Bolnisi municipality this year owing to the suspension of gold mining activities in the region by the company RMG Gold.
Government allocates 9 million for Bolnisi due to RMG Gold’s failure
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 25
“In 2012-2013 the company’s salary fund came to 41million GEL and 35 million GEL, when in 2014 money spent for salaries by the company is 400,000 GEL.”
“The company is practically stopped. The Bolnisi region budget was totally dependent on the enterprise. Due to the failure this year, the state government had to allocate money for the municipality,” Khaduri said.
Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has emphasized that he would not take responsibility for the 3,000 families, which will lose their jobs if the company goes bankrupt.
“We should make a choice between two options- the architectural monument and the fate of locals,” Gharibashvili said and appealed to all sides involved in the case to think about the future of local families before they make a statement.
Meanwhile, the employees of the Sakdrisi Gold Mine are demanding the reestablishment of mining at the controversial site. They held a protest rally which began at the Presidential Palace and continued at the Administration of the Government of Georgia on December 23.
"All people that live in the Bolnisi district will join the protest,” said the participant of the protest Lia Ajiashvili. She stressed that locals will starve if the company suspends mining.
Sakdrisi Gold Mine has been one of the country’s main topics of discussion after the government approved private gold mining company RMG Gold to resume mining at the controversial site a week ago.
Mining resumed on December 12 – one day after the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and the National Agency of Cultural Heritage Protection approved RMG Gold’s request to resume mining at the site. Some experts believed Sakdrisi Gold Mine was one of the oldest gold mines in the world, dating back almost 5,000 years.
There is a Sakdrisi Protection Committee as well, composed of NGOs, environmentalists and ordinary people, which also hold rallies protesting mining at the site. They stress that the government is destroying some of Georgia’s most important historical heritage.