The MPs considered the report by Energy and Water Supply Commission for 2014, introduced by the Chair, I. Milorava, speaking about main directions of activity of EWSC and results of the accounting year. She answered the questions and spoke about energy distribution aggregated on Enguri. “The Agreement between Georgia and Abkhazia on energy distribution is not signed and Abkhazia consumes energy from Enguri according to the real data. It is reflected in the Law on Energy and Natural Gas, providing detailed distribution procedures. Energy from Enguri and Vardnili is provided to Abkhazia first of all and then distributed amongst others enterprises”. Regarding Russian gas she elucidated that Russian gas constitutes 10% of natural gas transited. “If in 2014 averagely 2 bn. gas has been transited from Russia to Armenia, this index varies within 2 ml. This is the index left for Georgia as the price for Russian gas transit”.
Z. Kutsnashvili asked about import and consumption data. She elucidated that import increased with 300 ml kw.h when consumption increased with 480 ml kw.h.
D. Khundadze asked about water tariff increased for Mtskheta, she introduced the expert opinion about water supply and quality, on the basis of which she noted that water quality complies with requirements under the technical regulations.
T. Maisuradze asked about gas calories. “Citizens often complain that fees are higher than consumed gas”. As I. Milorava stated, gas transportation company daily publishes information on web-site about chemical composition and calories of gas”.
E. Chapidze asked about reasons for different approaches by the Commission to such cases. “Is it fair that Tbilisi water tariff is different than in the regions where water quality is much lower and tariffs do not comply with European standards, they are higher”. “There is the only basis. The Capital and the regions use service by various LEs. Tariffs are set according to investments and expenditures by them”.
G. Kandelaki asked about tariff to be increased on energy. “We have tariff applications by TPSs which we will consider from July 15”. The tariff will depend on GEL rate. “Term for consideration of the application by EnergoProGeorgia is not expired yet. The Commission is not the collective body. Three people make the decisions”.
D. Khundadze evaluated situation in Georgia and in Mtskheta. “Water Supply Companies operate the profitable objects in the country and it is wrong as non-profitable objects remain under municipalities. I think it would be fair to have uniform balance of financial resources and distribution by municipality”.
M. Machavariani stated “We speak about energy, gas and water supply development. If there is something inadmissible in the contract, you can protest, appeal but do develop the field”.
According to G. Popkhadze, the role and function of the Commission is to keep balance between commercial interest and human rights. “All questions were directed to this. I consider that putting the issue in political angle we render bad service to the Commission”.
After the report, MPs resumed with agenda. MPs considered the draft on Criminal Code with the II reading. The change in the part 5 of the article 236 corrects the norm, qualification circumstances also apply to the part 4 on responsibility for preparation, transportation and distribution of fire-arm, martial material and explosives.
MPs considered with the II reading the draft on Rules of Procedure, envisaging procedures and terms for appointment (6 years), dismissal and termination of authority of the Head of SSS.
After the break MPs resumed with the draft on Development of Highland Regions introduced with the II reading by the Deputy-Regional Minister, T. Shergelashvili. The draft regulates socio-economic development of highlands, preferences for highlanders etc. “The draft envisages creation of social preferences and economic activity encouragement system for highlanders, as well as infrastructural development and extra monetary aids”, - T. Shergelashvili stated. The draft changes the title of the Mountain Council into the Mountain Development National Council. The draft authorizes the Government to reduce the ceiling for hypsometric altitude to 800 m. Ajara and Pankisi were added to the list of highland regions. The draft envisages aid of 200 GEL for every second and next child born after enactment of the law. The social preferences for pedagogues are also envisaged. As to the Council, it would be composed half with representatives of highlands. The Government shall define special events, financial aid for couches. This paragraph will enter into force on January 1, 2016. M. Kobakhidze asked about Sachkere municipality villages. “The draft does not define that Sachkhere is a highland region but there are the villages with quite a high altitude. The status thereof shall be defined on the basis of the Governmental decree”. “The Government is entitled to define status of separate villages”, - was the answer.
According to Z. Kutsnashvili, the difference between the salary bonuses between the local pedagogues and special program pedagogues shall be eliminated and defined with 50% of salaries in both cases. The Deputy-Minister stated that the difference is conditioned to allow the state stimulate special program pedagogues.
Z. Melikishvili agreed with Z. Kutsnashvili. Ch. Taktakishvili asked about functioning of the Council. Setting up the Council will create additional bureaucratic mechanisms. She asked about reason to set up the new structure under the budget sequestration. “The Council is the collective body, composed with central and local authorities and will not entail extra costs”, - as answered.
Z. Kutsnashvili thanked the authors and noted that it is fair that Highland Region Development Fund is the financing source for independent programs and not the part of regional development program. M. Tsiklauri echoed the terms of enactment of the paragraphs. He offered to postpone this issue, to vote for the draft without the article 11. Z. Kutsnashvili replied “the position of the Regional Policy Committee on term postponement is alternative. The alternative part concerns enactment of the greater part of the draft in January, 2016 and the part on pensioners and pedagogues to be enacted on September 1, 2016. If the Government shares it, postponement will not be necessary”.
T. Shergelashvili elucidated that the draft is linked with some costs and the final annual value is 70-80 ml GEL. The social part of the law starts on January 1, 2016 and ends on September 1, 2017. I. Tripolski expressed the position of the Committee. “We know importance of the law and expectations of the population. The Committee worked a lot on the draft. We submitted 14 remarks most of which were shared. I agree on adoption of the law without the article 11”.
G. Zhorznoliani spoke about necessity of decision-making on legislative level. “I would like to underline importance of the draft for development of our country but to implement specific effective programs, we shall well realize that we shall create the effective mechanism for law implementation. We need more coordination. As to the Council, specific mechanism shall be created for specific tasks and this is the Council and recommendations thereof”. Minority expressed own position. “The draft cannot bring real improvement for highlands and the Government shall better work on more effective projects”.
T. Shergelashvili echoed: “This was an important step in terms of EU relations enhancement. Today we have development strategy for all the regions, action plan, detailed projects etc. There are instruments and all this is evaluated by EU as a successful model”.
According to M. Kobakhidze, the next plenary session will be held on July 10 at 12h00.