Home / Economy / Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament: A Complete Ban on the Sale of Land to Foreigners Creates Problems

Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament: A Complete Ban on the Sale of Land to Foreigners Creates Problems

How much did you expect the Constitutional Court’s decision  on lifting the Moratorium on sale of agricultural land to foreign nationals? 
The Moratorium was not a constant norm, it was a temporary restriction before the end of the year. The reason for this was a fact  that under the previous government there was no detailed information about how much land was owned by the private sector and how much by the state. Moratorium aims to address all these issues.

Was Moratorium a hasty decision, and if it spoiled the investment climate in the country? 

Each country has its own vision of this issue. I supported the adoption of the Moratorium, but I think that a complete ban on the transfer of land to foreigners creates problems for investments.

There are two radically opposing views – a total ban on the sale of land to foreigners, or vice versa, removal of all limitations. I believe that both approaches are wrong.

Many MPs consider it necessary to restore law adopted 15 years ago, which prohibits the sale of agricultural land to foreign citizens – individuals, but not legal entities. Such a rule exists in many countries, as the issue on land ownership is important in terms of  investments.

So, in my opinion, intermediate variant  is most suitable for the country.

In a certain sense, the Moratorium has created some inconveniences. There were  cases when foreigners wanted to sell the land, but could not – even when the buyer was a citizen of Georgia. Thisis illogical.

In general, this question should be better studied. Anyway, I am not a supporter of a total ban.

There is a shortfall  in the 2014 budget in the first quarter. What causes this? 

I cannot agree with this assessment. Compared to previous years the situation is normal. An emphasis is placed on the mobilization of tax revenue. Figures would have been better if the government  had  not committed itself to return the paid income tax to those who earns up to 500 GEL per month.

However, even in this situation, the budget is done quite normally. And we still have more positive expectations for the second half of the year.

We have a comparative lag in the development of foreign grants and loans. At this stage it is too early to draw conclusions. We see trends and can make some assessments. Parliament intends to discuss this issue in order to study  the current problems in more detail.

But even so, the budget is executed normally.

What economic growth do you expect  in Georgia in 2015-2018? 

A draft strategy involving major reference points of the country’s economic development in the coming years has already been sent to Parliament. In 2015, we expect economic growth under 5%, as well asin 2014.