7 business associations release statement against increased natural gas prices for commercial sector

Starting January 3, 2021 natural gas will increase by 0.24 GEL for commercial sector except for bread businesses reaching 1.1 GEL in total. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 10 Dec 2020 - 15:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Seven business associations have released a statement in response to the increase of natural gas prices for the commercial sector that are coming into effect on January 3, 2021 , saying that Tbilisi Energy’s decision is ‘not understandable amid the pandemic and the decision will also influence households as increasing prices for the business sector will increase costs and thus prices of products.’

The associations say their member companies will be forced to decrease employees or decrease their salaries.

Now when 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,” says the statement.

The announcement says that the depreciation of the lari is a problem for the business sector overall, including Tbilisi Energy, which is also facing serious problems, but notes that Tbilisi Energy is a natural monopoly, the decision of which has a drastic impact on the entire economy of the country and all entities involved in it.

The statement asks that a meeting with the company be held to review the calculation that allegedly justifies the 0.24 GEL increase per 1 cubic metre of natural gas reaching 1.1 GEL in total, and urges the Georgian government to participate in negotiations and solve the issue.

The business associations which signed the statement are the EU-Georgia Business Council, the Taxpayers Union, the Georgian Producers’ Federation, the Distributors Business Association, the Georgian Employers' Association, the Georgian Federation of Hotels and Restaurants and Restaurateurs Association.