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The Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, in his speech before the Parliament, stated:

“In regard to gasification, in 2008-2012, 124,000 customers have been added to the system. Later, in 2013-2016 the number of new customers reached 175,000. Under this government, the rate of gasification has been increased by 50%.”

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

According to the information

of the Ministry of Energy, in total 123,308 customers have been gasified in Georgia throughout 2008-2012, whilst in 2013-2016 that number was 179,848.

Table 1:

 Number of Gasified Customers in 2008-2012

Year Number of Customers
2008 -
2009 14 684
2010 36 901
2011 33 248
2012 38 475
Total 123 308

Table 2:

 Number of Gasified Customers in 2013-2016

Year Number of Customers
2013 46 998
2014 62 294
2015 36 016
2016 34 540
Total 179 848

The number of gasified customers in 2013-2016 is 56,504 more as compared to 2008-2012. Therefore, the number of gasified customers has been increased by 46% in 2013-2016 as compared to 2008-2012.

FactCheck requested

the Ministry of Energy to provide statistics in regard to funds allocated from the state budget for gasification.

Table 3:

 The Amount of Budget Funds Allocated for Gasification on 2008-2012 (GEL)

Year Budget Funds
2008 4,189,646
2009 15,000,000
2010 0
2011 0
2012 0
Total 19,189,646

Table 4:

 The Amount of Budget Funds Allocated for Gasification on 2013-2016 (GEL)

Year Budget Funds
2013 1,000,000
2014 20,999,650
2015 20,000,000
2016 20,000,000
2017 20,000,000
Total 81,999,650

FactCheck

found out that in 2008-2012, GEL 19,189,646 in total has been allocated from budget for gasification works. In 2013-2016 funds for that purpose reached GEL 81,999,650 which is almost four times more. According to the same information, no funds have been allocated from budget for gasification in 2010-2012, although almost 100,000 customers were gasified in that period.

FactCheck

interviewed the former Head of Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, Guram Chalagashvili for additional clarification. Mr Chalagashvili stated that allocation of funds for gasification is not obligatory for the budget. The process of gasification should be funded by the contractor companies themselves. Of course, the state could be part of that process. The state is eligible to allocate funds for gasification of mountainous villages or any other particular village at its own will. This brings clarity why there were not budget funds allocated for gasification for three years.

In regard to this year, according to the ordinance of the Government of Georgia, issued on 24 January 2017, GEL 20 million has been allocated for gasification of villages. According to the ordinance, 34 villages are scheduled to be gasified. The plan envisages

gasification of 25,798 customers in total throughout the entire country.

Of additional note is that as a result of agreement reached between the Ministry of Energy and private companies, since 2014,

population has been able to gradually pay the gasification fee for several years. The first minimum instalment to pay is GEL 25.

Conclusion

According to the information of the Ministry of Energy, in total 123,800 customers have been gasified in Georgia throughout 2008-2012, whilst the number of gasified customers in 2013-2016 was 179,848. Therefore, the number of gasified customers in 2013-2016 is 56,540 more as compared to 2008-2012, which constitutes 46% growth.

FactCheck concludes that the statement of the Speaker of the Parliament is TRUE.