Acting PM answered main opposition lawmakers’ questions in Parliament

Acting Prime Minister congratulated UNM on gaining seats in Parliament and said he hoped for constructive cooperation with them. Photo by Prime Minister’s press office., 25 Nov 2016 - 20:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Acting Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili answered the opposition United National Movement lawmakers’ questions in Parliament in the late afternoon, before the new legislative body votes for the Prime Minister and a new Cabinet tomorrow. 

Kvirikashvili congratulated the opposition party on gaining seats in the legislative body and hoped relations in Parliament would be "constructive for Georgia’s better future”. 

Big number of the questions asked by the opposition party members, of the party which gained 27 seats in the 150-member legislative body after last month’s Parliamentary Elections, concerned economic issues. 

The Acting PM stressed Georgia’s current economic growth was in line with existing regional situation. 

We plan the budget based on 4percent economic growth, but, allegedly the growth will be higher,” Kvirikashvili stated. 
 The proportion of the country’s foreign debt to GDP will be adequate, not to worsen Georgia’s credit rating.” Kvirikashvili stressed. 

Kvirikashvili also stated the Government "refused to cheaply sell the state property”, as the situation in the region wasn’t favourable enough. 

The Acting PM dismissed the opposition’s statements that the Government’s infrastructural intentions were unrealistic. 

Prime Minister delivered a speech and answered to the opposition United National Movement's questions in the afternoon. Photo by Prime Minister's press office. 

Nothing is unrealistic, we will spend more on infrastructure and reduce administrative expenses,” Kvirikashvili stated. 

 Kvirikashvili said the Government’s four-year plan would be based on the Four Point Reform Agenda that envisaged: 

Reform in the education system 

Kvirikashvili stated a systemic reform in the education system would provide high-quality secondary, high and vocational education and would be "decisive for the state economic advancement.” 

He stressed the Government planned to introduce a German model for the vocational educational, which envisaged close cooperation between state and private sectors to ensure quality studies and immediate employment. 

Kvirikashvili also said a law would be amended to make receiving high education after the vocational education possible. 

The Acting PM told the lawmakers that those directions would be prioritized in high education that were demanded on the market, referring to economic directions.

Planned changes for better economy  

 Kvirikashvili stated in order to encourage investments the Government planned not to tax reinvested earnings from January 1, 2017. 

He also stated for the first time under the Georgian Dream Government a Start-Up Investment Fund was established, which allocated money for new business working for innovations and high technologies. 

 Kvirikashvili mentioned a planned pension reform that envisaged Georgians to save certain amount of money from their salaries in their most active years and later use it when old. 

Acting ministers were also taking part in the question and answer session. Photo by Prime Minister's press office. 

He added the reform didn’t mean the rejection of the current pension model but said working both models simultaneously would ensure good conditions for pensioners in the future. 

"Inclusive Governance” 

Kvirikashvili widely spoke about the planned governance reform that aimed to offer a service oriented, inclusive governance system. 

We’re carrying out a Business House project that will offer all services for legal entities at one place, without addressing various institutions,” Kvirikashvili stated. 

He said the Inclusive Governance also meant a creation of a special format, where state-important issues would be settled through maximal involvement of all actors. 

Spatial Arrangement and Infrastructure

Kvirikashvili stressed the spatial and infrastructural reforms would be based on a general plan and would never be carried out in a hastily manner. 

He announced Georgia’s transit highway would be finalised in the course of the following four years in order to boost the state’s transit potential. 

 The direction also includes finishing the first phase of the western Anaklia port, modernised railway and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway’s coming into full swing allegedly for the next year,” Kvirikashvili stated. 

Foreign Priorities

" Our priority is consequent striving to European standards and integration into NATO,” Kvirikashvili stated. 

He hoped Georgia would soon receive visa liberalisation with the European Union (EU) and stressed the process was lingered for Georgia due to "bureaucratic procedures” in the EU and not because of the Georgian Government, "which had done its utmost in this regard.” 

Kvirikashvili stated Georgia would maintain a "pragmatic policy” to Russia, but decisions would never be made at the expense of Georgia’s territorial integrity. 

We will also be very principled to raise Georgia’s occupation issue at all interactional platforms ,” Kvirikashvili stated. 

He said the Georgian Dream Government had introduced a range of programs to help the reconciliation process with  Georgia’s currently occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. 

Kvirikashvili said the process would continue, more projects would be added in this regard for the people living in the breakaway areas to "feel the benefits” Georgia offered.