What is the Georgian government doing for business, agriculture amid the coronavirus crisis?

Farmers looking to start small businesses will be able to receive grants up to 30,000 GEL ($9,418/€8,749), while interest rates for agro-credits totaling 50 million GEL ($15.7 mln/€14.6 mln) will be financed. Photo: Georgian government press office.

Agenda.ge, 24 Apr 2020 - 16:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has announced today how the government intends to help businesses and agriculture during the COVID-19 crisis.

The plan includes supporting business owners, commercial banks, agriculture and economic of the country during the crisis. 

Support for the private sector

Through the automatic VAT-return mechanism, an additional 600 million GEL ($188.4 mln/€175 mln) will be returned to businesses this year, noted Gakharia.

He said that commercial banks will receive an additional 600 million GEL ($188.4 mln/€175 mln), and businesses will receive 500 million GEL ($157 mln/€145.8 mln).

Moreover, businesses will receive 300 million GEL ($94.2 mln/€87.5 mln) through guarantees on loans for business owners. 

Enterprise Georgia will increase the period of co-financing loans and leasing from 24 to 36 months. Also, the share of the state in co-financing will increase. Enterprise Georgia is going to increase activities of co-financing and decrease the minimum loan (leasing) requirement.

Support for agriculture

Gakharia said that farmers looking to start small businesses will be able to receive grants up to 30,000 GEL ($9,418/€8,749).

We decided the limit [of grant] to increase to 30,000 GEL and also increase the amount of the portfolio to 40 million GEL. This is the real support for people who live in the village and who decide to start micro businesses. We will finance them with direct grants,” said Gakharia.

In addition, interest rates for agro-credits totalling 50 million GEL ($15.7 mln/€14.6 mln) will be financed.  Gakharia said that 5,000 farmers will benefit from these agro-credits.

Meanwhile, farmers will be exempt from paying irrigation tax in 2020 and will be exempt from paying accumulated tax of past years. 

Gakharia noted that 1.2 million hectares of land will be registered in three years. 

What does the budget to fight Covid-19 look like?

Georgia has allocated 3.5 billion GEL ($1.1 bln/€1.02 bln)  in total to fight with the pandemic.

The sum will be distributed as follows:

  • Social support for Georgian citizens – 1.035 billion GEL ($325 mln/302 mln)
  • Support for the economy and business owners – 2.11 billion GEL ($662 mln/€615 mln)
  • Support for the health sector – 350 million GEL ($110 mln/€102 mln)

Gakharia also announced earlier today how the government is going to support its citizens. 

Read the report focused on the social assistance portion of the anti-crisis plan.

Click to see Government's anti-crisis economy plan in details.