Natural gas distribution companies requested that the Georgian Energy and Water Regulatory Commission of Georgia (GNERC) recalculate tariffs for the household gas consumption methodology adopted in 2014. The new tariff methodology is similar to the one regulating the electricity market and is based on a cost-cascade method. Natural gas tariffs have not been reviewed since 2005, thus distribution companies have to balance its losses from different economic fluctuations through increasing prices for deregulated sector (i.e. industrial) customers. Levan Pavlenishvili, Senior Researcher at the Energy and Environment Policy Research Center, discussed this issue with Maestro

Watch the video from Maestro TV to learn more.

In January 2017, the monthly inflation rate amounted to 2.9 percent in Georgia. Compared to the same month of the previous year, the Consumer Price Index change (annual inflation rate) posted a 3.9 percent increase. The annual inflation rate was mainly influenced by price changes for the following groups:

Transport: prices in the group increased by 10.8 percent and contributed 1.35 percentage points to annual inflation. The prices were advanced for the subgroup of operation of personal transport equipment (16.0 percent);

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco: prices within the group rose by 18.9 percent, with the relevant contribution of 1.14 percentage points to the overall annual inflation rate. The prices surged by 40.2 percent for tobacco.

ISET researcher Gigla Mikautadze spoke to Palitra News about the reasons behind the inflation growth. He thinks that inflation will not significantly exceeds the targeted 4 % rate, if the NBG together with the Government manages the perceptions of consumers in Georgia.

Watch the video from Palitra News to learn more.

Eric Livny, President of ISET and ISET-PI, discussed the Georgia's recent visa liberalization and the Georgian government’s 10-paragraph economic plan with TV Pirveli.

According to Mr. Livny, the EU's visa liberalization is undoubtedly positive news for Georgian citizens who need or want to travel to Europe, but they should not use this privilege as a chance to illegally emigrate. Mr. Livny also highlighted the importance of economic liberalization, as Georgia has witnessed steady economic growth over the last few years, but employment and income did not follow the trend tightly. In addition, he explained the pros and cons of tax reforms and the motivation behind increased excise tax on “Bads” rather than “Goods”. The rationale of having a tax-related referendum system, the necessity of qualified local tax inspection and changes in the Business Confidence Index (BCI) were also subjects of discussion.

Watch the video from TV Pirveli to learn more.

The Khudoni HPP project has now been an issue of public discussion in Georgia for more than two decades, but the Ministry of Energy of Georgia has now made a final decision to start building the project. In addition, the Clean Energy Group company won a bid for constructing the Namakhvani HPP 433 MW facility. Levan Pavlenishvili, a senior researcher at the Energy and Environment Policy Research Center, discussed the importance of hydropower for Georgia's electricity system with a journalist of Georgia’s National Broadcaster. He explained that Georgia needs new HPPs in order to cover its power deficit have cheaper electricity on the market.

Watch the video from GPB to learn more.

In 2016, Georgia transited more than 600 million kWh of electricity, mostly from Azerbaijan to Turkey; this is the largest transit of electricity through Georgia in recent years. Levan Pavlenishvili, a senior researcher at the Energy and Environment Policy Research Center, discussed this development with journalists on TV Imdedi's “20:00” news program. An increase in electricity transit is very important and a positive development; however, Levan pointed out that the capacity of its increase is fairly limited.

Watch the video from Imedi TV to learn more.

ISET Policy Institute’s researcher Ia Katsia discussed agro insurance during an interview with TV 1. The Georgian government has decreased its budget for agro-insurance projects in 2017, which Ia claimed will lead to problems in the field; she is also talked about issues related to existing-agro insurance schemes. She pointed out the lack of specialists (specifically loss adjusters) in agricultural insurance, and also spoke about the need for a universal loss adjustment system. Ia then explained the outcomes of the feasibility study on agricultural insurance in Georgia. The main suggestion for the Georgian government from this study was to keep a high-level subsidy for at least five years and try to improve farmers’ awareness of agro-insurance and ways in which they can benefit from it.

Watch the video from TV 1 to learn more.

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