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Additional bonuses to the Army

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, November 20
Georgia’s Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli is going to give bonuses to the army.

She made the statement on November 18 in the wake of the State Security and Crisis Management Council meeting at the Government’s administration.

She expressed hope that the initiative would not cause protest among other Georgians.

"I don’t want this to be a surprise, so I am announcing in advance that I am going to give bonuses to the army, but only to the Georgian Armed Forces and only to military personnel below the rank of lieutenant-colonel. I hope this will not be followed by protests," said Khidasheli.

Khidasheli also commented on the nutrition of the Georgian Armed forces (GAF).

The female Minister stressed that she would improve food quality and provision for Ministry personnel, as all of her predecessors had failed to do so.

The Minister stated that gradually, beginning next year, the GAF would be fed solely with locally produced food, and the Ministry's nutritional budget of 40 million GEL would support the development of local economy.

“Initially we thought that only the eastern Georgian units would be provided by meat from local farmers and companies.

“We are holding negotiations with lots of local companies, and from 2016 we will settle the problem completely, and the Georgian Army will be fully provided for by locally-produced agricultural and meat products,” Khidasheli said.

The Ministry has also initiated a new draft. The goal of the proposed law, according to the Ministry, is to create an environment which will allow military servicemen and servicewomen to retire from the Armed Forces with dignity and to reintegrate into civil society, either as a result of having reached an age limit or becoming disabled.

Under the initiative, compensation would also be extended to family members of military service personnel killed in action, as well as those who have already taken pensions after recent retirement.

“By this proposal, the social conditions of the military will significantly improve. The Pension Fund offered by the Draft Law exceeds the previous version by four times. It is also worth mentioning that the amount of compensation increases according to additional years of service. In addition, military servicemen can also receive one-time financial assistance at need,” the Ministry stated.