Mountain Law:
Social assistance rules eased for rural population

  • The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure will receive 1 billion GEL to develop Georgia's rural, mountain areas. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 21 Aug 2016 - 11:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

Tough rules currently in place that make it difficult for people living in Georgia’s high mountain regions to receive social assistance, are being simplified so people in these areas can enjoy better living conditions.

Today the Government of Georgia decided to ease procedures facing the rural population to make it easier for the elderly to receive the pension and other professions to receive monthly social assistance.

Our goal is to provide residents of Georgia’s mountainous regions with additional social assistance,” said Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
This program already supports young families as well as families with many children. Starting from September 1, this social assistance will be available for pensioners, teachers, doctors and nurses,” he said.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs operating in Georgia’s alpine areas will be face tax concessions.

To make it easier for beneficiaries to receive their social allowances, the existing bureaucratic barriers will be removed, said the PM.

In July 2015 Parliament of Georgia adopted a new law on the development of Georgia’s mountain regions, which came into force on January 1, 2016. With this law the mountain population will enjoy greater benefits, promised the Government.

The law also encouraged people to live and work in the country’s mountainous regions, and offered greater support to those who did so.

A new part of the law will be enforced on September 1, 2016 while the rest of the law will come into play on January 1, 2017.

From September 1 the rural population will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Doctors will receive a supplemental salary twice as high as the state pension, while nurses will receive a supplemental salary that matches the state pension;
  • Mountain area residents will enjoy 20 percent higher pensions and social assistance;
  • The Government will partially fund heating costs for the mountain population during winter months;
  • Teachers will enjoy a supplemental salary as high as at least 35 percent of their original salary;
  • Teachers who participate in programs initiated by the Ministry of Education will see their salary increased by 50 percent.

All of these changes will be implemented step-by-step until 2017.

An area was considered mountainous if it was situated 1,500m or more above sea level, however in some exceptional cases this can be reduced to 800m. A specific Mountain Agency will be established to deal with such issues.

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