GEL 361 is the subsistence
minimum determined by the Statistical
Service of Georgia on April 17 not for one person, but for a family of 4 people
and not for 2 days, but for a whole month.
The data for a family of 3 people are even more
optimistic and makes GEL 288, of two people - only GEL 288.
Georgian economists do not even
argue about these figures, since GEL 361
or less than $ 150, can’t be sufficient for four people.
But there is the issue that can
be challenged, namely the methodology of calculation and political will, which
for many years does not allow the authorities to measure real subsistence minimum.
Khukhashvili says that the counting methodology used by Sakstat does not include utilities,
transportation costs and much more.
“Imagine a family of 4
people who are lying in bed all day, do not go outside, do not turn on the
light, live in the dark, and do nothing at all. If one lives like this, then
perhaps this amount is really enough. The only question is, what is it called -
a subsistence minimum or an extreme form
of cynicism? ” the expert says.
“The purpose of
statistics is not to reflect the
economic situation in the country, but to blow dust in the eyes. The government
is satisfied with this invented subsistence minimum, since it shows that
everything is good in the country, ” Giorgi Khukhashvili notes.
Expert Paata Sheshelidze
believes that this study is meaningless, since nothing depends on its results -
neither wages, pensions, nor any other payments are tied to the subsistence
In Sheshelidze’s words, there
can be no complaints to the Statistical Service, which is staffed by competent
professionals in the field, but they fulfill the will of the government and obey
the state policy.
The current subsistence minimum
calculation methodology has been used since May 8, 2003, based on several criteria
developed by the Ministry of Health.
The methodology does not include
utilities, transportation costs, the purchase of clothing and hygiene products,
In particular, Sakstat
considers sufficient for good nutrition - bread - 7, 5 kg. per month, beans- 600 grams per month, rice - 300 grams per
month, pasta - 450 grams per month, pork - 300 grams per month, chicken- 600
grams per month, potatoes - 4, 5 kg per month, cabbage - 1, 2 kg per month,
matsoni - 750 grams per month.