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Almost twice depreciated national currency, twice and higher increased prices on the products, extreme poverty and the feeling that there is no way out

Is Georgia the poorest and most backward among 15 former Soviet Republics?

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Almost twice depreciated national currency, twice and higher increased prices on the products, extreme poverty and the feeling that there is no way out

Despite our multiple articles describing the current poor situation of the population of Georgia,  of how the prices  are increased  and if the government could not take decisive measures it would  become impossible to halt the inflation and increase of prices on the products, nobody has listened to us, or vice versa, listened but simply  did nothing to search for a way out.  Anyway,  the National Statistics Office published the last updated indicators at the end of September and, as it became an ordinary practice  in the last period, these indicators demonstrate again the inflation and rise in price of products

The September indicators are also interesting by  view that a general level of prices in Georgia is increased by 6,4%. The similar rate of inflation was last fixed in 2017. According to the data of  the same “Geostat” , the most influential factor causing  increase of the  inflation rate was a rise in  prices of the food products and soft beverages. Of course rise in prices is  first of all reflected on the  pocket of  ordinary customers. We mentioned several times earlier and repeat now too: Top officials whose salaries  exceed 5  thousand GEL, cannot feel the such rise in prices so sharply. In general,  rise in  prices by certain  commodity groups is as follows:

Food products and soft beverages: Prices on the products of this group raised by 11,7%,  that was reflected on the annual inflation by 3,49% point.  Fish products (16,1%), milk, cheese and egg (14,6%), sugar jam and other candy (13,2%), Meat and meat products  (12,6%), bread and bakery products (10,8%), vegetables and  fruits (10,1%), mineral and spring waters, soft beverages and natural juices (7,6%), oil and fat (3,0%). It means that the basic food products i.e. the ones needed for the population to overcome hunger (yes, not to eat but to fight against hunger)  raised in price

Until continue with the main thing to say,   we offer two very interesting statistical indicator, for comparison. The first one reflects which of products became expensive in September  while the second  – which products became cheaper in the same month. So, let’s start with what has increased in price: watermelon (raise in price by 91,2%); Garlic – by 90,8%; Intercity telephone calls (?!) – by 68.3%; green  bean – by 48.5%; Plum – by 444,9%; Peach – by 39.3%; Onion – by 35,6%; Museum ticket (?!) – by 33,9%, sugar – by 33.7%’ Local filter cigarette –  29.8%. Mayme somebody will argue that  fruits are seasonal and that’s why they raised in price, but, onion? sugar? Why  museum ticket and intercity telephone prices doubled?

Now, what has become cheaper in Georgia in September. According to the “Geostat”  data, these products are: USB flashcard – by 21,6%,  women demi-seasonal  (Transitional seasonal) clothing and footwear – by 19,2%, herbs – by 16,4%,  Men’s Sweater –  by 16,0%,  Women’s Skirt –  by 15,0%, , Women’s Boot – by 13,5%, Men’s Warm Jacket – by 13,3%, Men’s trousers – by 12,4%,  bra – by 11,8%,  Men’s Shoes – by 11.6%

In this Top 10 of the products that became cheaper, the only position that one may eat is herb. Now, we don’t miss the chance to recall  Chabua Amirejibi’s “Data Tutashkhia” and Sandro Karidze’s words: “Nation looks now like  herd on pasture,   having  the only job to do: to graze. So, we guess   that is why herb became  cheaper – to graze. In addition to the above, let’s say also that the Belarussian shops network  “Belarusski” that started operation here  with celebrities in 2016, leaves  the  Georgian market, they have already  closed 4 of 5 their firm shops  and the  5th one also is going to stop in December. We’d like to remind that only Belarus-manufactured goods of 300 types were sold in this network and, it works over all 15 former soviet republics. . .  except Georgia.  Is not it an indicator that as of today Georgia the poorest and  most backward among 15 former Soviet Republics?

On this background, thee government trues to assure us that everything is OK and  nothing alarming is happening. But, how paradox it may be, even demand for raising salaries is absurd in terms of such raise in prices, because a  larger  part of the population of Georgia is unemployed and, whose salaries are to be increased?   – MPs and ministers, who already have  quite high incomes? 

 

We (and probably nobody) truly did not think  that  after seven years of come of the “Georgian ream” into  the power, we could have such a reality: Almost twice  depreciated national currency, twice and  higher increased prices on the products,  extreme poverty and, what is more important – a feeling that there is no way out. In line with the political nihilism, electorate has also lost the hope for the  future and, does not believe promises, all try to leave  the country and think for a better life abroad. Instead, foreigners think they will feel better here in Georgia , they take minimal money  from their countries, begin business here and hire locals to work for minimal salaries. Just because of he extreme poverty the demographic  statistic of  Georgia starts is worsening, because of a shortage in money the  families think  not to give birth to  more than one child  and this, in case only, if to risk and create family. Yew,   creation of families is a risky case since they need relevant conditions for existence where man and woman equally must distribute functions, because only one’s little salary is not enough at all.

We mentioned Belarus and, despite the fact that the Georgian opposition often names its leader Alexander Lukashenko as dictator, a reality is that in Belarus a great  attention is paid to employment, the mills and factories are fully operating and manufacture various goods, so that even export  them in different counties – 300  kinds of goods they exported to Georgia as well. If make a parallel to Georgia, we export only lemonade, beer, mineral water. Do we  have some other goods suitable for export?   Milk products? Meat products? What more? – Nothing!   Because we do not produce. What can be said more about Belarussian products? –  the country’s population is the larger consumers of their own  goods. In Belarus the products are not expensive,  no need in  transportation ad customs clearance. And we? So many years we declare that a local egg production meets only 15-17% of the demand, while the remainder is imported.  Is it so difficult to expand local production? But no,   import of the eff is another topic. Behind the scene,  it is named  a white gold. That is why local production thereof in  sufficient quantities that may   meet the market demand, is even prohibited unofficially. But, I can say officially  that  the agricultural products is not taxed, these products include the milk products, but does not include egg and hen , i.e. both the latter are taxed. Why, because the farmers not to have  an excess money, wish of expansion, in order not to create problems to  import  of froze and in some cases –  unfit for eating egg and chicken leg, can anybody explain even once why   egg is not the agricultural product?   No, because it cannot be explained, and also because they do not want to make angry the patrons of import thereof.

Bread is the only product that is produced locally and meet the demand of the local market. But, in terms of current poverty rate people buy it only in necessary  quantity, for not to pay for more. Probably he state can choose one direction of products, make emphasis and allocate sums for meeting in full the local market demand . It is possible to start  with the eggs, even today. For this the farmers must be released from  taxes on hens and eggs and chicken cancel prohibition on their  production,  because the farmers know exactly how many of these products they may produce. In this case, they will become cheaper and we will not think which of them appeared  first –  egg or hen.

Beso Barbakadze

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