Presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili urged the government on December 11 to cover people's gas and electricity payment arrears.
“Electricity arrears are a huge burden and people can't afford to pay them off,” Saakashvili told journalists. “So I urge the government to negotiate [with gas and electricity distributor companies] to write off this debt; the government can repay it. Current charges can be met by people using vouchers [provided through the state-funded social assistance program], but arrears should be paid by the government.”
The initiative would mainly apply to internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in collective centers in Tbilisi.
Koba Subeliani, the minister for refugees and accommodation, told reporters on the same day Saakashvili made his suggestion that a deal had already been negotiated with KazTransGaz-Tbilisi, a gas distributor company covering Tbilisi and Telasi, and another electricity distributor company in Tbilisi.
“Debt has already been written off; the government has been negotiating with KazTransGaz-Tbilisi and Telasi on the issue for a long time,” Subeliani said.
It was not, however, immediately clear what kind of figures were involved in the deal.
Meanwhile, as polling day fast approaches, old age pensions on December 11 were increased from GEL 38 to GEL 55 a month.