Government started on March 10 distribution of GEL 30 (about USD 17.5) one-time “food vouchers” to up to one million families in the country.
The move comes after the government spent GEL 20 million on similar one-time electricity vouchers in February.
Both “modest assistance”, as the officials described it, aim at mitigating high inflation affect on citizens, according to the government.
So called “food vouchers” are distributed by the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Protection and recipients will be able to cash their vouchers in Liberty Bank till July 1.
Opponents say that both of the assistance programs, electricity and food vouchers, worth of total GEL 50 million (about USD 29.1 million) in a longer term will further increase inflationary pressure.
Annual inflation was 12.3% in January. The state statistics office, Geostat, has delayed release of February inflation figure, which was scheduled for March 4; the agency cited “technical problems” related to relocation of its office from one building to another.