PM Unveils New Initiatives at Recent Cabinet Meeting

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili unveiled a series of initiatives at government meeting held on September 11. These initiatives include plans to introduce visa-free travel for Chinese tourists, increase stipends for high-achieving students, and grant amnesty to individuals who have illegally acquired state-owned land or property.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister discussed his “highly successful” visit to China, emphasizing its primary goal of fostering “robust” trade and economic connections with the nation. He underscored the dual objective of increasing Chinese investments in Georgia and boosting the flow of Chinese tourists to the country. To achieve this, he announced that Chinese tourists would now enjoy visa-free travel to Georgia, with the necessary decree set to be signed later today. In addition, the Prime Minister expressed his intention to increase the number of direct flights to China, further facilitating increased tourism from the Chinese market.

Later in the day, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Levan Davitashvili, held a press briefing at the government administration. During the briefing, he discussed the government’s plans to increase the number of direct flights to China, with the goal of reaching 10 flights per day. Negotiations to achieve this increase are currently underway with China Southern Airlines. Minister Davitashvili announced that as a first step, the number of flights will be raised to one per day, totaling seven flights per week. Additionally, he highlighted the Ministry of Economy’s commitment to initiating more projects in China aimed at promoting Georgia as a tourist destination for Chinese travelers.

Another initiative unveiled by the Prime Minister pertains to state stipends for high-achieving students in Georgia. Garibashvili revealed that previously, 2,500 students received a monthly stipend of 150 Gel. However, the government’s new decision will double this figure, with 5,000 students set to receive a monthly stipend of 300 Gel starting next month.

Finally, the Prime Minister also announced a decision regarding individuals who illegally acquired ownership rights to state-owned agricultural land before 1 September 2023. These individuals will be exempted from serving a sentence or paying fines under certain conditions. According to Garibashvili, the amnesty will be granted to certain categories of citizens, and those who fully compensate the state for the damages resulting from their criminal actions till September 1, 2024. This amnesty applies specifically to offenses falling under Articles 180 and 362 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The draft will be summited to the Parliament in the near future, according to the PM.

The Prime Minister also clarified that this amnesty will not extend to cases involving crimes committed by government officials, employees of state enterprises, legal entities under public law, non-entrepreneurial legal entities who abused their official status, or organized groups. Compensation for the damage suffered by the State must be made by transferring ownership of the agricultural land acquired through criminal means, ensuring that it is free of any legal encumbrances. If this is not possible, an equivalent amount should be paid for the land.

Note: This news was updated on September 11 at 19:25 to include the press briefing of the Minister of Economy.

Also Read:

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


Back to top button