“The country's security is not only the military equipment, but also food and medical security”

“The country's security is not only the military equipment, but also food and medical security”

access_time2020-03-31 13:52:55

Director of the Taxpayers Union of Georgia (TPU) Alexander Ratishvili is waiting for the government to present to the public a crisis management plan that is currently being worked on.

 “The government’s actions can be divided into two parts - the first includes the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that turned to be  undoubtedly successful. The second concerns the country’s economy, namely, work on an action plan to mitigate the crisis. They say that the plan exists, but none of us saw it. The Minister of Economy says the document will be ready in a few days. We should  wait and then will analyze the content of the document, ”he explains. 

 Ratishvili believes that a primary objective is to stabilize the national currency, otherwise it will be difficult  to mitigate the dire e consequences of the crisis.

 

“The fact is that the devaluation is largely associated with negative expectations and those  which have even GEL 100 rush to the  currency exchange offices to convert them to dollars. For this reason, banks and money exchange office should introduce strict restrictions. Only importers who work on food supplies should receive dollars, everyone else will wait, ” TPU Director notes.

In Ratishvili’s words, another priority is local production as the country imports most of the goods that significantly hinders the development of the economy.

“We all have  once again  seen that the country's security is not only the military equipment, but also food and medical security that are no less important. The government should urgently develop measures to stimulate local production and the agricultural sector. Georgia spends almost a billion dollars on food imports such as packaged goods like canned food, sweets and cookies, but also fruits, vegetables and other products that can be grown inside the country. This is a real disaster, ” Alexander Ratishvili points out.

Ratishvili adds that the current  situation is completely unacceptable, the government finally announced the local production and agriculture priority areas.

“History has shown that sometimes deep crisis is powerful impetus to the development . COVID-19 will definitely cause some damage, but if the current situation is used correctly, the economic breakthrough can be much more important and tangible, ” TPU Direcotr says.

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