Home / Economy / Economic Policy by Kakha Kaladze – What to Expect from Economic Program of Tbilisi’s New Mayor

Economic Policy by Kakha Kaladze – What to Expect from Economic Program of Tbilisi’s New Mayor

Local self-government elections have passed. Naturally, the emphasis was made on Tbilisi Mayorship elections, as the capital city is both financial and political center of Georgia. Regretfully, the 2017 elections have continued the evil practice, when politicians and political parties cannot introduce detailed election programs.

Some of them have not introduced any program at all, while others have voiced only promises in the form of wishes without economic calculations and substantiation. As a result, we have the situation, when participating candidates and political parties intend to win elections thanks to promises in the form of toasts and our society cannot check the efficiency of their performance.

The current Mayor David Narmania is a good sample to this, who asserts that he has fulfilled all pre-election promises, while others assert the opposite. And our society has no opportunity to examine all these statements due to documents and proofs. Regretfully, there is low political culture in Georgia and candidates do not care much for preparing valuable programs. And why should they do this? Their programs should contain a detailed plan for their 4-year performance and they prefer to issue verbal promises and make accents on popular themes in exchange for votes, even if this or that promise could not be fulfilled at all.

The 2017 candidates had introduced no economic programs, in practice. It should be noted that  only several ones had prepared programs in a written form and even those documents could not be called as programs. In the developed countries, for example, in Germany, even one candidate has larger programs than all 9 candidates for Tbilisi Mayorship. Naturally, special interest is paid to the program of the winner candidate. It is interesting what Tbilisi residents should expect for the next 4 years.

The whole economic policy of Kakha Kaladze is as follows:

«For the purpose of implementing efficient economic policy, Tbilisi City Hall will prepare municipal development plan. The municipality will foster employment of Tbilisi residents. The Night Economy innovative concept will be implemented.

Tbilisi City Hall will develop efficient economic policy based on municipal development plan. Tbilisi economic potential will be explored comprehensively and municipal property will be entirely inventoried. Efficient investment policy will be developed and implemented. Public-private partnership projects will be planned and implemented. Commercial spaces will be arranged.  A special strategy will be prepared and implemented for better employment of tourism potential. Cooperation will be activated with partner municipalities.

Tbilisi City Hall will promote employment of citizens. In the coming years, large-scale infrastructural and economic projects will be carried out to create thousands of new job places. Promo program will be introduced for small and medium business sectors, self-employment.

The night economy strategy will be prepared to add new functions to the city outskirts  and new districts, employ abandoned spaces, develop river embankment infrastructure, encourage business, attract investors, improve tourism potential, create new job places and mobilize additional revenues for the municipal budget.

Municipal transport, recreation system and culture politics should be adjusted to the night economy concept. Night economy startups should be also encouraged. As part of the night economy concept, municipal transport will work in night hours, night tourism routes will be created, including river transports will move on the river Mtkvari, street illumination systems will be improved.

Night culture life will be enlivened and popularized – unused spaces will be dedicated to local and foreign artists, museums, exhibition spaces and movie theaters will operate in night hours. Special measures will be carried out to ensure security standard at night, additional video supervision systems will be installed», the document published on the Georgian Dream website reads.

It is worth noting that the whole economic policy is given on one page and it lacks for  financial substantiation. This program contains no specific promises. For example, the program contains the following promises – Tbilisi City Hall will prepare a municipal development plan. The municipality will promote employment of Tbilisi residents, night economy innovative project will be implemented , major and medium investment projects will be developed and implemented. Tbilisi City Hall will develop efficient economic policy based on municipal development plant, efficient investment policy will be developed and implemented». In one word, he promises to prepare development plans in this or that direction in case he is elected Tbilisi Mayor and the time will show whether the capital city residents will like the program.

Kaladze pledged to ensure a growth in the municipal budget at the expense of municipal revenues and state transfers. According to him, the municipal budget will exceed 1bln GEL for the firs time in its history – but how, from where, from which taxes and duties and when – in 2018 or in 2022? Nothing is said about this in the program.

As to the transport field, Kaladze plans to renew Tbilisi Bus fleet and carry out large-scale modernization of Tbilisi subway network. When promising 700 new buses, it would be better to substantiate financial sources for purchasing these buses. It should be also noted that Tbilisi Mayor’s economic policy was introduced by two members of his team – Beka Davituliani and Irakli Khmaladze, who are lawyers by profession. Naturally, no economic education is required to introduce similar programs, but it is genuinely regretful, that no qualified financier was found in the team of Kakha Kaladze, who would write pre-election economic program and introduce the document to the society.

As a result, our society would be able to know what to expect from economic program in the capital city for the next 4 years.

Finally, it should be noted that not only the program of Kakha Kaladze, but also all other candidates do not satisfy standards and requirements of European pre-election documents. Naturally, a major part of our population is not interested to read comprehensive programs of the candidates, however, political parties should keep similar documents for even specialists. Society is not much interested in similar documents. Consequently, nor politicians pay attention to this and they are ready issue any promises in exchange for votes, while they know these promises are doomed to failure. But nobody cares.

Our country strives for European family and Georgia aspires for upgrading democratic level. Therefore, politicians are to show more responsibility before their electors. They are to take efforts and write detailed programs what and how they plan to implement for the country development.

By Merab Janiashvili
Economic Analyst
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