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Gov’t to present plan to rescue lari

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 15
Members of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition, the party which ran Georgia between 2003-2012, is demanding that the Government present its plan on how to rescue the national currency, which is continuing to devaluate against the US dollar, with 1 GEL costing 2.65 USD.

UNM lawmaker Elene Khoshtaria says the Government lies when it claims the national currency’s devaluation does not influence prices.

She stressed the prices for primary products have increased by an average of 50 tetri.

"The Finance Minister says that there is no price increase or inflation. I want to tell the public and the Government that prices for primary products have increased by an average of 50 tetri,” Khoshtaria said.

“Exchange rate fluctuation leads to the worsening of people's lives. The Government turned a blind eye to this and speaks to us as if nothing is happening. The government must present a plan on how to save the national currency," Khoshtaria said.

Fellow UNM lawmaker Roman Gotsiridze, who previously chaired the National Bank of Georgia, stated the Government presented an economic plan envisaging an increase of excise tax on tobacco, imported cars and oil products, which would only worsen the situation.

“When the national currency depreciates to such an extent, it means that no plans will be fulfilled. The country and the people are facing an absolutely different reality. The budget has become a meaningless paper,” Gotsiridze says.

The opposition believes the country requires a reasonable economic policy that the current Government is incapable to carry out.

Meanwhile, the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia team believes the national currency devaluation process, which started in 2014, is temporary and is the result of negative economic developments in the key trade partner states of Georgia.

They claim the increased taxes on certain products, large-scaled infrastructural projects and the annulling of income tax for businesses if they reinvest their money would all provide fast economic development of Georgia from the next year.

1 GEL was equal to about 1.75 USD before November 2014.