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Business associations against increased gas tariffs for the commercial sector

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, December 11
Seven business associations operating in Georgia responded to the increase of gas tariffs for the commercial sector by Tbilisi Energy. According to the statement, during the severe economic crisis caused by the pandemic, such a decision is incomprehensible.

A few organisations stated their principle and sharply negative position on the issue.

"Now that almost all businesses have been shut down and the affected sectors are constantly appealing to the government for various types of assistance and benefits, Tbilisi Energy makes an unexpected and inconsistent decision and puts unjustifiable additional pressure on businesses, raising already high utility bills."

They also emphasized that under current regulations, the setting of tariffs for the commercial sector is not regulated by a national regulator.

"In this case, we are dealing with natural monopoly, the decision of which has a drastic impact on the entire economy of the country and all entities involved in it."

Associations claim that Tbilisi Energy's explanation as if this does not apply to household consumers is wrong because the increase in gas tariffs for the business sector will lead to an increase in the cost of the product. Besides, the businesses also point out that because of this decision, they will have to reduce the number of employees or their salaries:

"This process will affect the entire population and will significantly hurt."

The signatory associations underline that they are well aware of the problems caused by the constant devaluation of the national currency, which is experienced by all enterprises involved in business activities in Georgia, and request a meeting with the management of Tbilisi Energy to clarify why is there a specific increase in the tariff by ?0.24 (including the tariff calculation methodology; what are the components of this or that tariff and what is the cost structure in the company.

“We also urge the Government of Georgia to intervene promptly to resolve this issue and to use all available levers to regulate this highly damaging process,” the statement reads.

The signatory associations are EU-Georgia Business Council, Taxpayers' Union, Georgian Producers’ Federation, Distributors’ Business Association, Georgian Employers' Association, Georgian Hotels and Restaurants Federation, Restaurateurs Association.