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Georgian privatization: fall to!2009-10-21 17:45
The Georgian government puts up a new list of state facilities for sale. Although the dismissed administration of Ministry of Economic Development assured that the privatization target was exceeded this year, the president managed to accelerate the pace of selling. This was hardly done in due time, for the real estate prices in Georgia remain at a low level.
Another wave of privatization is coming to Georgia. According to the governmental press release, the 100-percent state share in the railway Telecom, hotel Gudauri, Georgian Post and other facilities will be put up for sale in the nearest future.
The lists of facilities to be privatized will be posted on a special web-page of Ministry of Economic Development as was promised by head of administration Zurab Pololikashvili. The list will contain information on the lots, prices, auction dates and photos.
The auction list is opened by Gudauri JSC, the former building of justice of Georgia in Rustaveli avenue, the former building of ministry of finance in Abashidze street and others.
It should be noted that the issue of privatization became fatal for Lasha Zhvania, Minister of Economic Affairs who was dismissed from office at the end of summer. "According to fiscal revenues for the current year, 77 mln laris are to be received by the country due to privatization of property and land; however, by this moment the budget received only 15,6 mln laris", - Deputy Minister of Finance Papuna Petriashvili stated in August.
Minister of Finance demanded complete implementation of the 2009 privatization plan. The dismissed Zhvania asserted that instead of the planned 77 mln laris Ministry of Economic Development managed to get 117 mln laris from privatization. Later on, these figures were confirmed by Head of Privatization Department of Ministry of Economic Affairs Alexander Arakishvili, as the Business Georgia portal reports.
Well, the way they count their income in the Georgian government remains an enigma.
Perhaps, the problem lies in abusing? For instance, on September 10, the Georgian media reported that the officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the Georgian MIA detained representatives of the regional Administration for Privatization and Property Accounting of Kakhetia Gocha Khokhonishvili and Alexander Tsikarishvili, as well as the representative of Sagaredzho region Nika Shakarashvili. Security agencies gave no comments on the fact.
However, the reason for such "bites" of Ministry of Finance on Ministry of Economic Affairs could lie in the heavy budget deficit faced by the Georgian authorities at the beginning of summer. For the sake of treasury replenishment, the government took out credit tranches from international banks and issued treasury stock to attract internal cash resources.
Naturally, the losing Georgian Post is also on the list, as well as the disputable vacant building of Samshoblo (Motherland) publishing house and the idle non-demanded railway Telecom. All these facilities can be sold, or, at least, one might get rid of excessive expenses on their maintenance.
Because of the change of directorship in the Ministry of Economic Development, the continuation of privatization scheduled for September was suspended. 33 major facilities were named for selling, including the Samshoblo publishing house, the Karishkhala (Thunderbird) sports complex, Academy of Sports, the Kopitnari airport and other facilities.