Minister excludes rise in energy tariffs
By Messenger Staff
Monday, December 26Georgia’s Ministry of Energy, Kakha Kaladze, says he “will be the first” to announce if tariffs on gas and electricity are to be increased for Georgian consumers.
However, at the same time, he excludes the possibility of such a rise despite the devaluation of the country’s national currency against the US dollar.
The Minister’s statement came shortly after Georgia’s National Energy and Water Supply Commission said energy bills for Thermal Power Plants would increase and the same was possible for Hydro Power Plants.
The Commission explained this was because of the current situation regarding the national currency, with one Lari officially costing 2.78 USD.
“If there is any necessity for revising electricity tariffs due to the changes in the exchange rate, we will be the first to make a statement in this regard, but there is no such need today,” Kaladze said.
The opposition strongly criticized the Minister and the Government for “misleading the people and bringing the country to the severe economic crisis”.
Members of the United National Movement opposition claimed that if the Government managed to keep today’s price for gas and electricity, it meant the people would be provided with energy products only during certain times of the day, and not permanently.
Kaladze stressed the statements were “groundless”.
“Even in case if the Regulatory Commission increases tariffs for Hydro Power Plants if doesn’t mean the increase in energy tariffs for our citizens,” Kaladze stated.
Meanwhile, members of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party say the Government may use budgetary funds to subside energy tariffs for people.
A couple of years ago, the Government also vowed no increase for gas and electricity supplies, but this did not turn out to be the truth.
Both the increase in energy tariffs for the Georgian population and addressing subsidies through the state budget would be negative for the country.
Subsiding something also means using public money, and the money does not take the form of an investment to gain any profit.
Herewith, there will be a risk that the Government will look for some other ways, at the expense of population among them, to accumulate money in exchange for subsidies in the state budget.