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Dispute over 10 million GEL

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, September 12
The dispute between Tbilisi district governors and the majority on the Tbilisi Sakrebulo (City Council) is underway. The issue concerns the reduction in finances for apartment associations by GEL 10 million.

Tbilisi's mayor and the district governors claim that various problems were settled through the partnerships and co-financing between the apartment associations and districts municipalities.

They state that after the money was cut for the apartments’ associations, lots of important projects for apartments will not be carried out.

Mtatsminda Governor, Nika Melia stressed that in the article, the Mtatsminda municipality has only 36, 000 GEL instead 1,300 000 after the reduction.

“Tbilisi residents are affected through by this decision. There are many applications in the municipality brought in by the residents for undertaking infrastructural projects in their apartments. We, the governors are ready to do the job. However, we are left without financial backing,” Melia stressed.

Representative of the Sakrebulo majority, Niko Khachirishvili stated that he detects blackmailing in the statements made by the governor and mayor rather than a desire of doing business.

“The Head of Tbilisi's Mayor’s financial department stated how much free money is in the various city municipalities. I asked a question: if there is money, why do the governors tell people and the heads of the apartment associations that there is not any money? According to them the reason is the decision made by the Sakrebulo concerning the reduction in the apartments’ associations financing,” Khachirishvili stated.

Assembly Chairman, Irakli Shikhiashvili, stated that the information regarding the cut of the Apartment Association Program was spread on purpose. Some forces wanted people to believe that the assembly passed a decision aimed against citizens. In reality, this sum was spent on National Movement party activities.

“The GEL 10 million was targeted as bonus money for the heads of the apartments’ associations and had no to do with certain projects,” Shikhiashvili stated.

The statement was denied by the Mayor’s Office.

Some in the majority support continuation of negotiations over the issue and believe that the apartments’ association project should not be suspended. They suggest reviewing each municipality individually and finding an outcome from the situation through any means.

Tbilisi mayor, Gigi Ugulava met with the heads of apartments’ associations and stated that the Mayor’s office had no other way but to agree to the cut.

“If we did not agree some serious problems would emerge regarding budgetary issues,” Ugulava said and appealed to the Sakrebulo to change the decision. He also appealed to the National Subsidiary Agency to recheck its decision over the removal of pensions and social assistance for the heads of the apartments’ associations.

“In the case that an individual takes a symbolic sum as a salary from the budget for fulfilling the functions of the apartment association’s head, he will not get a pension or social assistance from the budget. This is not right and the National Subsidiary Agency should change the decision,” Ugulava stated.