29.Nov .2020 22:00

Coordination Council Discusses New Package of Government Support to Citizens and Businesses

Coordination Council Discusses New Package of Government Support to Citizens and Businesses
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It was noted at the meeting of the Interagency Council that Stage 4 of the Anti-Crisis Plan Designed by the Government of Georgia, which includes a new package of government support to citizens and businesses, will remain targeted similar to the previous three stages.
 
Total budget of the Citizen Care Program is 545 MLN GEL, while the total number of beneficiaries is over 500 000 persons (numbers do not include the utility bill subsidies).
 
  • Utility bill subsidies will be valid for 4 months (from November through February) and the cost of power energy and natural gas (up to 200 kw/cubic meters) consumed  by the population will be incurred from the State Budget. Probable number of beneficiaries will reach 1 million households. Initiative has been budgeted at 270 MLN GEL;
  • Social allowance in the value of 1 200 GEL will be paid to individuals who have temporarily lost their jobs in the formal sector. Allowance will be paid during 6 months from January 2021 in monthly installments of 200 GEL. Probable number of beneficiaries is 125 000 persons and initiative is budgeted at 150 MLN GEL;
  • Social allowance in the value of 300 GEL will be paid to employees and sole traders who have suspended their operation in December and January due to the enforcement of additional restrictions.  Probable number of beneficiaries is 100 000 persons and initiative is budgeted at 30 MLN GEL;
  • Social allowance in the value of 600 GEL will be paid to households with the subsistence rating scores in the range of 65 000 - 100 000 from January, payable in monthly installments of 100 GEL on average  (depending on the number of people in a household) for 6 months. Probable number of beneficiaries is 72 000 households (about 220 000 people) and initiative is budgeted at 55 MLN GEL;
  • Social allowance in the value of 600 GEL will be paid to households with the subsistence rating scores in the range of 0 to 100 000  and 3 or more children aged under 16, payable in monthly installments of 100 GEL for a period of 6 months (January through June). Initiative is potentially applicable to 24 000 households and is budgeted at 15 MLN GEL;
  • Social allowance in the value of 600 GEL will be paid to the disabled persons aged under 18 and adults with acute disabilities, payable in monthly installments of 100 GEL for a period of 6 months. Potential number of beneficiaries is 43 000 persons and the initiative is budgeted at 27 MLN GEL;
  • Individuals employed at organizations that will suspend operation in December and January will be able to get their bank loan service payments deferred.
As for the business support package, which is budgeted at 515 MLN GEL in total, it includes the following:
 
  • Personal income tax (PIT) will be waived from companies in the portion of 750 GEL from a monthly salary of 1 500 GEL payable to their staff in the period of December 2020 through May 2021. Potential number of beneficiaries is 33 000 companies and their 425 000 employees. Initiative has been budgeted at 260 MLN GEL.
  • Property tax will be waived in the tourism sector (assets used in the operation of hotels, restaurants and the like) in 2021. Initiative is budgeted at 45 MLN GEL;
  • PIT for 4 months of the year deferred to December 1, 2020 will be waived in the tourism sector (hotels, restaurants and the like). Initiative is budgeted at 20 MLN GEL;
  • Bank loan interest will be subsidized for hotels. Initiative will also apply to restaurants for 6 months. Potential number of beneficiaries is 3 700 companies;
  • The Micro Grant Program will apply to thousands of new business projects (scheduled for 2020). Initiative is budgeted at 40 MLN GEL;
  • The Credit Guarantee Fund will be actively used in 2021, which will assist the private sector in restructuring the current borrowings and in soliciting new loans. Initiative is budgeted at 100 MLN GEL;
  • Companies that have suspended operation in December and January will be able to have their bank loans deferred.
Overall, the new support package is budgeted at 1.1 BLN GEL.
 
In the opinion of the Head of Government of Georgia, the global economic crisis continues in 2021 and it will be quite challenging. Hence, the social and business support package of the government greatly covers citizens and companies that have suspended operation in the referred period and require support most of all.In addition, the Government of Georgia took a decision to subsidize the prime quality wheat flour, as a result of which the price on bread will not increase. Program will be valid for 4 months till March 31, 2021. Government will monitor the situation at international markets and will take applicable decisions on the grounds of global prices on wheat flour.
 
Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia noted that the country currently has sufficient stock of wheat and no problem will be experienced towards this end. Government of Georgia has ruled to set a fixed price of 53 GEL for a sack of 50 kg flour of prime quality and state subsidy per sack will be no higher than 10 GEL. Initiative is budgeted at 10 MLN GEL in total.
 
Also, it was noted at the Coordination Council today that the country is entering a peak threshold of community transfer rate and the current epidemic situation is challenging. Nevertheless, it remains under control. It was once again noted that important preventive measure remains to be the uniform wearing of facemasks and social distancing, which will among other COVID restrictions be strictly enforced by respective institutions.
Since the detection of the first case of COVID, 123 470  cases have been proven positive on the grounds of lab tests, out of which 102 270 individuals have recovered and 1 161 died.
 
At present 2 114 individuals are in quarantine, 3 863 – at COVID Hotels under a medical supervision and 6 251 at hospitals.
 
The Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by the Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia, chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and Administration of the President of Georgia.