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Officials’ bank credits raise question marks

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, September 30
The Transparency International Georgia (TI) released some research data couple of days ago that depicts the credit loans taken by ministries and their deputies from various Georgian banks. The survey reveals that in many cases a monthly installment for the loans total half of the official’s salaries or even exceed them. The NGO states that information concerning the credits was gained from the banks calculation data released on their web-pages.

The organization admits that ministers receive a 5,000 GEL monthly income, their first deputies 2,950 GEL and deputies 2,720 GEL. Based on the information placed on the web-page of Bank Republic, Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia took out a 200,000 USD mortgage and he has a 3,450 GEL monthly payment (69% of his whole monthly income). Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili owes 120,000 USD to Bank Cartu and his monthly installment is 2,800 GEL, which is 56% of his salary.

After being appointed the Minister of Interior Affairs, Aleksandre Tchikaidze took a 140,000 USD loan from Bank of Georgia. The monthly installment is about 2,600 GEL, which is 52% of his salary. A loan taken by Minister of Refugees Sozar Subari from Bank Cartu also demands half of his monthly salary.

However, Davit Khutsishvili, who serves as deputy interior minister, has to pay 175% of his monthly income for his loan, while deputy Minister of Sport Zurab Azmaiparashvili’s monthly installment comes to 118% of his monthly salary.

Levan Natroshvili from TI Georgia states that several points were interesting in the issue: that the individuals decided to take loans after taking office, and that the loans should have been a serious burden for the officials, as they have to pay half or more of their salaries as the installment.

Commenting on the issue, Deputy Minister of Sport Zurab Azmaiparashvili said that he has more income from his scientific activities than from his official position. He admits that even in the case of resignation, he will manage to cover his loans successfully.

Member of the United Democratic Movement Besik Danelia stated that “a poor Georgia has wealthy officials.” He was also interested in financial guarantees the banks gained instead of giving the loans.

Majority member Gia Volski assures that the government members will not be involved in bribe taking and corruption for their loans.

“Corruption deals are punished strongly. I do not believe that any of the officials are involved in such activities,” Volski says.

Member of the parliamentary minority Pavle Kublashvili states that current officials use their posts for their own interests only.