Meeting of the Government as of December 14, 2010

Meeting of the Government as of Desember 14, 2010 On December 14, 2010 was held the meeting of the Georgian Government. The agenda included 43 items.

Before the meeting started, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Nika Gilauri, talked about several issues. We present the Prime Minister's speech:

"Before we start discussing the issues on the agenda, I would like to talk about the research conducted last week by the Transparency International. This organization studies the level of corruption in different countries. In the recent years, this organization has conducted a lot of important research projects. This year, the research was conducted in 84 countries, including Georgia, the EU countries, the US, and Asian countries. There are very important results.

Several thousands of citizens were surveyed in different countries. The main question in this survey was whether the respondents had paid a bribe in the previous 12 months. This question was answered positively by only 3% of the Georgian population. I would like to tell you that the average figure for the European Union is 5%. Only six or seven countries have better figures than we do. These countries are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Great Britain, South Korea, and the Netherlands. We can say that we are in the top ten of the countries with the lowest levels of corruption.

I think that being in such a top ten is one of the biggest successes of this state, of this country. This is one of the prerequisites that we will continue economic growth and continue attracting investments. At an increasing rate, Georgia is developing into a country with a good environment for attracting investments and creating jobs. This is one of our goals. The goal and result of our struggle with corruption should be that investors see how good environment Georgia has for investing and creating jobs, and in terms of economic growth. This is our main goal, and it is this goal that all the reforms we have been carrying out in the recent period are designed to serve. A very important reform which has started is the New Course of the Ministry of Finance, a part of which will be presented today by the Head of the Revenue Service, Goga Tskhakaia.

I would like to ask him to do the same presentation for the public. I would like to reiterate once more what the New Course is. I would like to repeat it for the members of the government and for the public. The New Course is a new approach which was necessitated by the reforms carried out in the Ministry of Finance and the Revenue Service in the recent years. We have brought the infrastructure to order completely, the check points are being brought to order, we have created new Economic Zones of Registration and built offices of the Ministry of Finance and the Revenue Service, and we have introduced a system of electronic payment and Internet service, which is very important for the Ministry of Finance. Staff has been changed, and from January 1, the new Tax Code takes effect. All this enables us to take one more step, to simplify the relations between the Revenue Service and the private sector, which has been a problematic issue in the recent period.

Accordingly, this will be one of the main parts of our government meeting. We will discuss this today, and afterwards, I would like to ask the Minister of Finance and the Head of the Revenue Service to do a certain presentation for the public."

Prime Minister's Press Service