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Incoming PM Merabishvili Outlines Some Key Points of Govt's Program
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Jul.'12 / 18:11

  • GEL 1,000 four-year vouchers to each household;
  • GEL 4 billion for rural areas in next four years;
  • GEL 3bln in next 4 years for health insurance for everyone;

Incoming PM Vano Merabishvili outlined some of the key points of government’s four-year program, which actually will also represent the ruling United National Movement party’s agenda on which it is likely to base its campaign ahead of the October parliamentary elections.

Details of the program has yet to be unveiled, which is expected when a text itself is submitted to Parliament for approval, either later on Monday or on Tuesday.

Merabishvili was speaking while presenting a nominee for new ministerial post in the government in charge of employment.

USD 100 Pension
 
“President’s promise to increase pensions up to USD 100 will go into effect in 2013,” Merabishvili said.

He was referring to President Saakashvili pre-election promise ahead of the 2008 early presidential election to make a minimum monthly pension USD 100.

Starting from September the government plans to introduce a new scheme, envisaging increasing of pension, plus providing in the same package health insurance policies to pensioners – these two combined, however, will still fall short of promised USD 100 monthly pension.

Meanwhile, leader of Georgian Dream opposition coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has promised that in case of coming into power he would increase monthly pensions to the amount of minimum subsistence level; suggesting that official minimum subsistence level is deliberately downsized, he also vowed to revise the figure and to set it on “real” level. Minimum monthly subsistence level for an average household in May was GEL 251.8 and GEL 150.1 for a working-age male, according to state statistics office.

‘Health Insurance for Every Citizen’

Merabishvili said that his government would allocate GEL 3 billion on healthcare during the next four years with a purpose to provide health insurance to “all the citizens of Georgia.”

The authorities say that an immediate plan is to provide state-funded basic health insurance to every second citizen. But after Ivanishvili announced about his promise to fund health insurance “to each and every citizen”, President Saakashvili said in mid-June that his administration’s goal was to secure “universal health insurance” applying to “every citizen.”

GEL 4bln for ‘Villages’

He said that the authorities "key priority will be to support rural areas” to double agriculture sector’s production in next four years. Agriculture’s share in GDP was 9.6% in the first three months of 2012.

“With this purpose we plan to invest GEL 4 billion in Georgian villages to develop Georgian rural areas,” Merabishvili said.

Georgian Dream leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has pledged to allocate “one billion” for special fund for agriculture sector to help farmers.

Incoming PM Merabishvili said on July 2: “I promise that Georgian village will become the basis for Georgia’s strengthening.”

“I promise that all villages will have water [supply infrastructure]; I promise that gasification project in all the village will be completed; I promise that all villages will have roads of proper quality; I promise that all villages will have Internet access and each local resident of a village will have an opportunity to receive all those benefits which I listed above,” Merabishvili said.

GEL 1,000 Vouchers

Incoming PM Merabishvili said that his government would provide every family in Georgia with four-year GEL 1,000 voucher.

“I offer a new initiative according to which starting from next year we will give each family in Georgia a four-year GEL 1,000 voucher,” Merabishvili said. “We want each family to itself decide how to use this GEL 1,000 voucher to solve its immediate problems.”

“Our work will be very tense; we will have to work very intensively. I will have very strict demands. We will all be very happy if we deliver with our promises,” Merabishvili said.

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