24.Nov .2022 18:00

Georgia Loses GEL 2 MLN As A Result Of A Deal With Davit Khidasheli - TI Georgia

Georgia Loses GEL 2 MLN As A Result Of A Deal With Davit Khidasheli - TI Georgia
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Transparency International Georgia has been sounding the alarm about the increasing problem of high-level corruption in the country for years. One of the manifestations of high-level corruption is when businessmen close to the political elite receive various benefits in return for rendering certain services.

Accoridng to TI Georgiam, good recent example of this phenomenon is Davit Khidasheli, a businessman of Georgian origin with Russian connections, whose involvement in the politically motivated Cartographers’ Case can be evaluated as rendering a service for the ruling party; using this case, it became possible to mobilize voters in favor of the ruling party in the parliamentary elections of 2020.

As for receiving a benefit, as it turned out, one and a half year after the launching of the case, a decision was made for the benefit of Davit Khidasheli which has caused a concrete financial damage to the State.

"A few months ago, the online news outlet Mountain Stories found out that the State had issued a 49-year license to a company for the arrangement of a hunting farm on 104,712 hectares of forest (a third of the territory of Racha and 1.4% of the country’s territory) and that the final beneficial owner of the company was Davit Khidasheli.

The dissemination of information on the real identity of the recipient of the license and about the deal in general was followed by a negative public reaction, because this was a surprise both for environmental advocates and locals residents of the Racha region. The deal contains a number of problems in terms of forest management and violation of environmental regulations, due to which environmental advocates have filed a lawsuit in court, while the local population is collecting signatures with a demand to revoke the license.

However, the fact that Georgia sustained a concrete financial damage as a result of this deal didn’t receive proper attention – due to the issuance of the license for the arrangement of a hunting farm on a third of the territory of Racha, it is no longer possible to create a relatively large protected area, which would bring more revenue. According to our calculations, in this way, the State has lost direct revenue of about GEL 2,057,593", - TI Georgia reports.