Georgian Government is sure Parliament will overcome President's Veto

Published in Politics
Monday, 31 August 2015 10:15

Georgian government is sure that the parliament will overcome the veto and the law developed by the ruling team will soon enter into the force.

The Georgian deputy Prime Ministe Kakha Kaladze made an announcement, in which he mentioned, that the veto of Geogrian President on a law on the National Bank is not a problem.

" I think there will be no problem, the parliament will discuss the issue and the draft initiated from our side will enter into the force. This was achieved after consultations,"- the Georgian deputy Prime Ministe Kakha Kaladze said to Journalists.

The Extraordinary Plenary Session

Published in Politics
Friday, 10 July 2015 15:24

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.

David Usupashvili visited the rehabilitation works after the natural disaster

Published in Society
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 11:30

The Speaker of Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili attended the operative briefing in Saburtalo Governor’s Board and heard the information about the disaster liquidation works. The Governor, B. Mikauradze spoke about the damage, accommodation of the local residents and measures by the coordination headquarter.

The Governor’s Board provided all damaged with alternative dwelling and this problem in Saburtalo region is eliminated. Five families refused to be evacuated from the hazard zones.

The Speaker expressed his commitment to be involved in the problem solution. He is ready to personally meet these families to convince them to leave the hazard territory.

After the briefing, the Speaker visited the restoration works at the Zoo and the Hero’s Square and attended the sitting of the ad hoc headquarter for rehabilitation works. He also made comment for media and expressed his condolences to the families of deceased.

“After this tragedy, the response was the most effective and correct – fast coordination of the City Hall and the Governmental structures which is very important. Tbilisi residences and volunteers were of great help for the city and for each other. It made possible to have the current situation – all damaged are sheltered, they are taken to various safe places. Response to the tragedy by the state structures and people is an evident example that we can be united during the hard times. I would like to live with this unity further, in order to reduce such tragedies and to establish better standards for safety of our compatriots. Infrastructure is to be developed of course but it is necessary to realize to prevent such wide-scale tragedies. I express my condolences to all the families who lost family members and I would like to wish us no more tragedies to increase standards as in construction so in planning terms. We need to better take care of our country”.

The Speaker spoke about involvement of the Parliament in rehabilitation works and noted that the Bureau will make the decision for aid to the damaged. “The Parliament will hold the hearings regarding the restoration works and will detect the reasons. We can allocate some finances for rehabilitation works and aid for the damage”.

The vast precipitates last night and river swell caused casualties and damaged infrastructure. The natural disaster damaged houses and Zoo habitants.

The meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Budgetary Office with the Scottish Parliament representatives

Published in Economics
Thursday, 07 May 2015 18:01

The parties spoke about activities, functions and legislative processes of the two Parliaments.

Georgian MPs spoke about the ongoing and future activity of the Committee and the Office as of the independent fiscal institution.

Scottish MPs shared their experience. The parties agreed on future cooperation.

The meeting was supported by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

The Meeting of the Speaker with PACE President (Video)

Published in Video
Thursday, 07 May 2015 16:36

David Usupashvili met with Anne Brasseur. The parties spoke about events in Georgia and in the region, Russian occupation of Georgian territory and situation in Ukraine.

The Speaker thanked Mrs. Brasseur for adoption of the supportive resolution for Ukraine and noted that Georgia will always support the resolution. The parties also considered the Constitutional, electoral, judicial and municipal reforms and agreed to enhance relations between Georgia and CoE.

The meeting was attended by T. Japaridze, L. Berdzenishvili, I. Chikovani and T. Bokuchava. After the meeting, the parties made the joint statements.

“This visit is one more expression of enhancement of Georgia-CoE relations. We agreed to work in this direction. Sometimes, when we have the problem with quorum in the Parliament, it is due to the fact that 10-12 MPs are occupied in PACE, striving not only for Georgia but for Europe. This is the platform, where Georgian politicians participate in construction of Europe, solution of European issues”, - the Speaker stated.

PACE is an important European institution, actively facilitating Georgia to hold the democratic reforms and creation of institutional environ. “Let me remind you that in line with CoE recommendations, we have implemented the most important reforms in judicial sphere, municipal sphere, in political system, legislation on political parties, electoral system and many other spheres. Let me also remind you that the Venice Commission, well-known in Georgia, acts under the aegis of this organization and many other instruments, with which CoE supports Georgia”. “For me, as for the PACE President, it is important to visit the countries first of all to have the personal contacts; also to better understand the country, people, politicians and civil society, to meet media. So, I thank you for the interest, expressed in my visit”, - Mrs. Brasseur stated.

The Parliamentary Delegation of Georgia plays an important role at PACE sessions. “You shall be proud of your delegation, which is very active, particularly at Committee sittings, playing an important role. The Georgian delegation, in terms of attendance, is the 4th country amongst 47 countries. I think, it is important for MPs, to have contacts with their counterparts but it is also important to better understand Georgia. It helps us in development of democracy, rule of law and human rights protection. All democratic forces shall stand beside the civil society and religious leaders to fight against hatred and intolerance as it undermines democratic system and is a real threat – it is the message from CoE” – A. Brasseur stated.

Geo-political situation and Ukraine vents touched particularly the region and Georgia. “We shall find the joint solution. Violence can never be the solution, it is hard but we shall proceed. On our turn, by means of the Parliamentary delegation, we shall find the way out. After termination of suffrage to Russian delegation, they decided not to work with us. They still are the members. We want to talk with them and I hope we will find the way to continue this dialogue but one of the main principles CoE is based on, I will reiterate it here, in Georgia, is territorial integrity. No one has right to violate this principle and it concerns Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well”. She also spoke about Constitutional, electoral Code and judicial reforms. “Some steps have been made but it is important that there is no impunity, is it a civil society or a politician – all breaches shall be punished. Jurisdiction shall be transparent and the system – reliable”. Solution of the problems in the country is possible with bilateral dialogue and mutual respect. “I hope you will find the solution for your problems to continue protection of your citizens”.

The visit started on May 6 and will be accomplished on May 9. A. Brasseur will meet the legislative and executive, as well as judicial authorities.

The sitting of the Foreign Relations Committee

Published in Politics
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:50

The Committee considered the change agreement N1 to the Loan Agreement of October 25, 2013 between Georgia and EBRD (Jvari-Khoraga E-Transmission Line). The agreement envisages allocation of 25.2 ml EURO for 1 years for consumption of Caucasus Mountain transmission line to Jvari sub-station and Khoraga Sub-station e-transmission lines construction. After the tender, the loan resource savings constituted 5 ml EURO. Thus, on March 16, 2015 the change agreement was signed envisaging consumption of the saved funds for Zestafoni 500 and Marneuli 220 sub-stations.

The Committee considered with the III reading the draft on Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons and the draft on Consular Fees with the II reading. The Committee supported the drafts.

Preparatory Works for hosting EBRD Annual Meeting and Business-forum

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 16:14

The works are held on the territory of the Parliament and the Youth Palace. The Head of the Governmental Commission on Organization of EBRD Annual Meeting and Business forum, the Finance Minister, N. Khaduri and the Commission members introduced the information about the implemented work.

The 4 temporary premises have been built in the Parliamentary yard to locate media-center, briefing room and conference halls. All necessary spaces are provided equipped with the communication systems and office inventory.The relevant works have been held in the Youth Palace.

Within the event, the delegations from more than 60 countries and international delegations and up t0 1500 businessmen are to visit Georgia. The EBRD forum will be aired by the world leading media agencies.

The Photo-exhibition “Donbas: Peace and War”

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:41

The Parliament initiated the exhibition. The Speaker addressed the attendees and spoke about the Ukraine crisis and post-Soviet occupation consequences.

“Today we are here to see these shots of post-Soviet occupation in Ukraine. This is hard – as we wanted to end all the misfortunes from the Soviet period, following the Imperialistic soviet system. Unfortunately, it failed in case of Georgia and it cost lots of victims for Georgian people in the struggle for freedom. Today the same force threats Ukrainian people and deprives territories and lives from them. Today we saw the photos, reflecting the same pain we all well know and that’s why we need to be particularly solidary to Ukraine”.

The photos, besides the pain of war, reflect reprimand to politicians, who failed to prevent this disaster.

The Speaker recalled the official visit to Kiev and expressed support to Ukraine. “Today we are here to deliver our message to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters – we are with you! We, the Parliament and the Government, shall continue working in many directions to solve this problem in Ukraine and in Georgia, to prevent them from repetition. This is the shortest and the convincing answer to the question what Georgia wants in EU or NATO. We want these photos to become history and never repeat”.

The Director of the Museum, D. Lortkipanidze and the Minister of Culture, M. Giorgadze also addressed the attendees.

The Chair of EU Integration Committee of Ukrainian Parliament, Conflict Regulation Commissioner in Donetsk and Lugansk, Irina Gerashenko spoke about events on the photos. She thanked Georgian side for support and aid to Ukraine. According to her, the exhibition aims at attraction of attention of the society to Ukraine events and condemnation of Russian aggression against neighbor countries.

Exhibitions have been already held in European countries and USA. It will be soon held in Czech Republic. The exhibition was attended by Georgian, Ukrainian and Moldovan MPs, international and local NGOs and diplomatic corps. The exhibition exposes the photos by photographs, journalists, militaries and volunteers reflecting the acutest moments.

The exhibition is organized by Ukraine Rada EU Integration Committee Chair, the Parliament of Georgia, Embassy of Ukraine, Ukrainian National Union of Journalists.

The exhibition was held in Brussels, Strasbourg, London and New York. The exhibition will be closed on May 20.

President of PACE makes official visit to Georgia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 11:37

Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will make an official visit to Georgia on 7-8 May 2015.

In Tbilisi, she is due to meet the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ms Brasseur will also have meetings with representatives of different political groups.

In addition, talks are scheduled with the Georgian delegation to PACE, the Chairperson of the Supreme Court, the Public Defender, and with representatives of civil society and the diplomatic and international community.

Ms Brasseur will also visit an internally displaced persons’ settlement in Tserovani and the administrative boundary line at Khurvaleti.

She will also give a lecture to students at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

David Usupashvili, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, and PACE President Anne Brasseur, will make a press statement at the Parliament on Thursday 7 May at 11 am.

The Sitting of the Defense and Security Committee

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 13:20

The Committee heard the report on 3-months implementation of State Budget 2015, introduced by the Deputy-Finance Minister, G. Kakauridze.

According to him, GDP average growth was 3.2%, mixed budget income forecast implemented with 104.7%, grant forecast implemented with 130.5%. He spoke about January-March parameters of consumer prices increase and foreign trade reduction and noted that in comparison with the similar period of last year, the consumer prices increased with 2.6%, and foreign circulation reduced with 10%. Despite of this reduction, export increased with 21.1% with EU states and trade relations reduced with 55% with CIS states.

He spoke about indices of budget implementation and noted that all parameters: incomes, taxes, grants etc. were excessively implemented. He also spoke about Defense and Interior Ministries plans implementation and noted that implementation in both agencies was defined with 95%. After the report, he answered the questions by I. Sesiashvili.

MPs asked about GEL state, economic situation and future forecasts for the budget. The Committee considered with the II reading the drafts on Diplomatic Service; Weapon and deriving drafts. The Committee voted and supported the drafts.

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