President Saakashvili said on December 17, that inflationary pressure would be growing, calling it one of the key challenges for the government.
“Prices are ‘biting’ our people every day,” he told the government members at a televised meeting held in Sataplia karst cave, a tourism destination site in western Georgian region of Imereti.
“I do not want us to lie to our people; the inflation processes will strengthen,” Saakashvili said.
Annual inflation hit 10.5% in November, up from 9.6% in October and the Georgian National Bank expects annual inflation to climb to 10.6% by the year’s end.
Saakashvili said high inflation was because of increasing food and fuel prices on the world market and rejected claims that it was because of the government’s policies, describing such allegations as “populistic”. He said such claims “will fail to mislead our people.”
He told the government to develop “a program of measures” to ease inflation burden for socially vulnerable people.
“Although we are not able to decrease tariffs, because it is a commercial matter, but it is possible to think about some kind of compensations and targeted assistance to socially vulnerable people, especially during the winter,” Saakashvili said.
Household water tariffs increased in Tbilisi starting from December, followed by increase of price of municipal transport tickets; tariff on the city waste services is also expected to increase.