Georgian Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili suspendedthe privatization of agricultural land, which was renewed after theConstitutional Court invalidated the Moratorium on the sale of farmland to foreign nationals.
According to the Minister, at this stage privatizationwill not be carried out.
“My decree suspended the sale of land, as the government is currently working on establishing a mechanism of privatization, and taking into accountinternational practice it will be necessarily to adopt a law that will enable capital investment in land, but will not create a threat to the emergence ofsocial problems. Agricultural land should be sold, but under certain regulations, “- the Minister states.
Auctions on sale of agricultural land were resumed on May 23, 2014 – in total 95 820 hectares of arable land was put on sale.
Prior to this, the sale of land had been suspended for the agricultural sector at the end of 2012, and in June 2013 the government adopted a Moratorium on the sale of land to foreigners.
Economy Minister expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision of the Constitutional Court, which recently lifted a Moratorium.
“The Moratorium was declared due to the fact that the country faced very serious problems, andthings could go on unpredictable scenario. Now we are working on legislation that would remove all kinds of restrictions on the corporate sector, investors, and commercial banks. Therefore, the decisionof the Constitutional Court was quite superfluous”, – the Minister notes.
According to him, the restrictions on the purchase of land by foreign nationals work in almost allcountries, including Europe.
“Nobody is obliged to approach the matter from ultra liberal point of view. Economic growth is certainly very good, but every country, including Georgia, has its own specifics. For example, Georgia is land-poor country, in a complicated region, and based on this, it needs some kind of regulation, “- said Kvirikashvili.
“Commersant” reports that the Moratorium and the decision of the Constitutional Court will be discussed at the meeting of the interdepartmental commission.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Sector Economy Zurab Tkemaladze believes that restrictions in any case will remain – in 90% of the EU states the sale of agricultural land to foreigners is prohibited.
According to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Gigla Agulashvili, land privatization process will be transparent, with the participation of local municipalities and regional administrations.
“In such circumstances, the sale of land does not pose any danger. Also, we should not forget that not only foreigners buy land in Georgia “- the MP notes.