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GruzStat’s burden weighing on Kobalia’s conscience2010-11-17 16:14
Thanks to notorious reforms, privatization in Georgia has been facilitated to the maximum with the government adopting amendments to the law on state property. Facilities that don't make part of the country leaders' interests will be easily sold out. The reasons why referral hospitals, oil processing plants and a military settlement are displeasing to the economy ministry and parliament are understood. But why should National Statistics Service be put up to auction?
Yesterday Georgia's National Statistics Service was visited by a delegation from Sweden that favorably accepted the invitation for cooperation in the long term. Presumably, the Swedes will help Georgian statistics in institutional development, improvement of statistical methodology as well as quality of this important research work: like national reports on GDP and inflation, for instance.
These changes in GruzStat that will have to be renamed into GriefStat could not have come at a better time. Opposition forces repeatedly reproached the statistics service for framing domestic reports on instruction from the current government. The third party represented by Swedish colleagues could help make results more transparent. Still, it is not quite clear what will happen to the entity.
All this began with minister of economic development Veronika Kobalia's idea to make simplified privatization processes even more efficient. Time is near when she will face punishment for collapse of Georgian economy. To exonerate herself in front of potential electorate, if any, and prevent a "civil revolt" Veronika took the only right decision, as she thinks. Now the building of Georgian National Statistics Service in the center of Tbilisi, in Pekinskaya street, will be put up to auction.
Indeed, what's the use of the statistics service if there is nothing to calculate expect for zeros in the amount of the country's negative balance? Thus, the ministry of economy is happy to sell GruzStat building for a trifling sum - USD 3.6 million for 6 thousand square meters. A new owner will be able to enjoy free space early in May 2011. As Georgi Kalandadze, ministry of economy and sustainable development spokesman on privatization said, the building is open for previews to everyone. People can personally evaluate potential opportunities the location offers with GruzStat still working inside.