PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said it was “irresponsible” on the part of the Parliament to pass “hastily” controversial bill temporarily suspending foreclosures of private homes of individuals with defaulted mortgage loans.
Parliament passed on July 25 with its first reading legislative amendment envisaging suspension of mortgage foreclosures, applying to individual borrowers not to legal entities, till February, 2014.
Asked to comment on the bill, PM Ivanishvili told journalists on July 26 that it was “completely absurd” to pass such legislative amendments.
The bill, which was initiated by 49 Georgian Dream lawmakers and spearheaded by GD MP Gedevan Popkhadze, has been criticized by the opponents, including business lobby groups and government-appointed business ombudsman, who say that the proposal will worsen investment climate and negatively affect banking and financial sector of the country.
“It is regrettable that the Parliament acted in such an irresponsible way,” PM Ivanishvili said. “The [bill] has been passed with the first reading and I think it has not caused any damage yet and I think I will be able to explain to the [parliamentary] majority that it is inadmissible to dictate business [on these matters] without having a prior agreement with the business. There are banks, which might be damaged with [this bill] and adopting such a decision without an agreement with banks is completely thoughtless and absurd [move].”
He said that on July 27 he would be meeting senior leaders of the Georgian Dream coalition where he would raise this issue.
“I think I will be able to convince [the parliamentary] majority not to proceed further with this bill,” Ivanishvili said. “It is regrettable that this bill was passed such hastily.”
Ivanishvili also said that the bill was not discussed with the government and the latter’s position on the matter “was not taken into account” by the Parliament.
Just before the vote in the Parliament on July 25, government’s parliamentary secretary, Shalva Tadumadze, told lawmakers that despite his initial opposition to the bill, the government was ready to give its approval on the condition that the suspension would apply only to bad mortgage loans that were created before August 1 and would not apply to mortgage foreclosures of legal entities – conditions, which were acceptable for sponsors of the bill and which they pledged to specify in the bill during the second hearing.