Statements by the Defense Minister David Tevzadze and Governor of Imereti region Temur Shashiashvili were more interesting than the agenda of July 18th Government’s Meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, Defense Minister requested a word. He touched a decision of the Minister of Finances and expressed his resentment regarding suspension of financing of the military units of Batumi garrison from the central budget.
David Tevzadze stated: “The Treasury and the Ministry of Finances refused to finance these units without any motivation or preliminary consultations with us [Defense Ministry]. They cut our funds and left us on the local (Adjarian Autonomous Republic’s) budget. The salaries were distributed from this budget. Such decision exceeds the framework of fiscal policy and enters the sphere of military-political system of the country; therefore it must have been the competence of the National Security Council to make such a decision. This fact is an attempt to involve militaries into internal political disputes. In order to avoid such facts in the future, I strongly demand from all authorities, including the Ministry of Finances to not to make deliberate decisions without our [Defense Ministry’s] consent. As far as yesterday’s decision might be followed by unexpected results, I demand to define the extent of political liability of the people concerned”. Defense Minister submitted this statement to the President, who requested the explanations from the Minister of Finances.
Finance Minister Zurab Nogaideli explained, that the Adjarian Autonomous Republic did not transfer 6,7 million laris to the central budget for last 2 months. Salaries of the servicemen of the garrison have been paid out of this sum. Therefore, it can be said, that the salaries were issued from the central budget and not from the local Adjarian budget.
However, such explanation did not satisfy President Shevardandze. He regarded the decision of the Minister as incorrect and uttered the necessity of its correction. “This was a political mistake. Armed forces are a unified system, which may not be financed by autonomy’s or city’s budget. Everyone must consult with President – Chief Commander when making such decisions and none should do anything out of his/her competence” – addressed President the Minister of Finances.
It might be said that the Ministry of Finances made reasonable and logic decision. Otherwise it would be impossible to give wages to Batumi garrison’s servicemen in time. But on the other hand, this decision gave yet another chance to the authorities of the Autonomous Republic to discredit the central Government: the central Government is not capable to issue wages and salaries, especially for militaries, and counts on us to solve the problem.
Governor of Imereti region Temur Shashiashvili tackled the situation in joint stock company “Zestafoni Ferrous Alloys” and “Chiaturmanganum” (both enterprises are under the state management).
Governor blamed Irakli Mgaloblishvili – ex-member of a monitoring board of “Chiaturmanganum”, presently a representative of “Channel International, Ltd”, which holds 50% in the monitoring board of “Sakgazi” and parliamentarian David Bezhuashvili (member of the ruling “Citizens’ Union” party, one of the founders of “Channel International Ltd”) for intended attempt of bankruptcy and takeover of these enterprises. Shashiashvili stated, that the ruling party stands behind David Bezhuashvili. Due to their [Bezhuashvili’s and Mgaloblishvili’s] activities, the enterprise has 32 million laris debt, said Governor.
Shashiashvili accused one of the founders of joins stock company “Poti Port” Gogi Akhvlediani (who is a relative to President Shevardnadze). Shasiashvili stated, that with Akhvledianis’ support the leftover product of “Zestafoni Ferrous Alloys” – slag – is being exported from the country, which is totally un-permissible. If the export continues, both companies might stop the production.
President Shevardnadze ordered Minister of State Security Vakhtang Kutateladze to study the problem. As President has stated, on July 22 he will meet Governor Shashiashvili together with State Security Minister to discuss these issues.
Concerning the issues that have been on agenda of the meting the Government members discussed the project pof President’s decree on the Temporary Rules of Definition of State Orders in Education Sphere. Under this decree a special commission, which will receive information on demands on certain specialties and professions, will make a prognosis for state orders based on labor market’s analysis.
Government members have been discussing this issue and overall situation in high education sphere for 3 hours. Rectors of high-educational institutions, which have been invited to the meeting, used this opportunity to advertiser their institutions. Some of them demanded an increased financing, some – privileges in taxation of educational institutions. Finally Government members have been told that it is necessary to introduce physical training at all levels of educational institutions. Some may think, that all the Government should do is to decide the question of physical training and everything else is just fine in the country.