ArmInfo.In Georgia, wheat importers staged a large-scale protest. Having blocked the free economic zone in one of the districts of Tbilisi - Lilo, the protesters demand a revision of the government ban on import / export of wheat by road.
According to the opposition TV channel Rustavi 2, the protest action has been going on for the second day, and the work of the FEZ in Lilo continues to be paralyzed. Protesters promise to arrange a "real blockade" of Georgia, paralyzing all the central highways of the country, unless the country's authorities until the evening of September 19 will not cancel the earlier decision to ban the importation of wheat by road. According to the statement of the protest participants, the Georgian authorities left 25 thousand people without work.
Heads of a number of companies importing wheat have already submitted an administrative complaint to the government's office, demanding the repeal of the order of the Minister of Finance to ban the import of wheat into the country by road. In their view, the ban violates the right to conduct free business activities, and in addition, will lead to higher prices for wheat, flour and bread, which will negatively affect the socio- economic situation of the country. "The decree of the Minister of Finance actually establishes the monopoly position of those who import wheat through rail and sea transport. The complaint is signed by representatives of 15 companies, "the document reads.
It was reported earlier that the Minister of Finance of Georgia by its order, which comes into force on September 15, completely banned the land transportation of wheat. However, it is not completely clear whether this order extends to transit carriers. According to the new order, it is possible to import or export wheat and corn in the customs territory of Georgia only by sea or by rail. Private importers, according to the Georgian "Business Georgia", who for years import wheat into the country, require explanations. Supposedly, the new regulation will cause rise of the prices of wheat and bakery products, and thousands of people employed in companies will remain unemployed. Importers evaluate the decision as a pressure on the business, and demand a meeting with the Minister of Finance. The situation was commented on by the leader of Georgia's Labor Party, Giorgi Gugava, who said that Bidzina Ivanishvili's closest associates want to establish monopoly on the wheat business with the help of ''Agricom'' company, and the order of the Finance Minister is backed by Ucha Mamatsashvili and Otar Partskhaladze. The "Agricom" company according to the publication, is one of the monopolists in this business. The company has a marine grain terminal in Poti. In Armenia, however, it was estimated that the innovation would lead to an increase in grain prices by $ 50 per ton. IT was reported that, following negotiations between the South Caucasus Railways and Georgian Railways, starting from September 1, 2018, tariffs for rail freight to Armenia will be reduced by 52%. According to the "SCR", the matter concerns the supply of grain by rail from the harbor of Poti to Armenia.