TBILISI, DFWatch–The new government in Georgia is coming under fire for its economic policy.
Figures from the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, show that GDP in June was negative -0.8 percent compared to same period last year.
President Saakashvili’s party thinks this is alarming and demands immediate measures.
But Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili appeals to people to remain calm, saying there are interruptions in the economy, but no reason for alarm.
Geostat on Wednesday published a new report, which showed that GDP growth in June 2013 was minus 0.8 percent, while growth of GDP for the second quarter of 2013 was 1.3 percent and 1.8 percent for first six months in 2013.
Geostat have conducted preliminary estimates of economic growth monthly since January 2012. The agency calculates data based on VAT paying plants, fiscal and monetary data statistics.
“The estimates are used to get preliminary data in the short term,” representatives of Geostat explain, adding that preliminary data may differ from the precise data, which includes more analyses and more data from different fields.
Usupashvili told journalists that there are some interruptions in the economy, but here is no alarming situation and the government is doing its best to solve the problem.
He said the policy of the new government focuses on the population and that it takes time to transform the economy.
“Our government disconnected the minimum wage from the income tax. This means that we didn’t withdraw 20 percent from the income of the poor population, and this is about 300 million in the budget,” he said.
“People who were close to the previous government had a monopoly on business and easily won in tenders. Now this has changed and they will have to fight in a competitive environment. This takes time.”
Usupashvili said the latest data from the World Bank show that the economic downturn started last summer and has nothing to do with the new government.
“The opposition has a subject to dispute and they speak about this. We do our job and we’ll soon see the results,” he added.
Members of the National Movement think that downfall of the economy is result of new government policy.
Zurab Japaridze, MP from UNM told DF Watch that it was expected, because there were its signs during last months.
“We spoke about this problem for long time, but no one listened to us. I hope they will foresee it now,” he said adding that the situation is alarming for country and it is necessary to change the whole policy.