Gas Tariff to Increase for Enterprises & Companies in Tbilisi

Tbilisi gas provider Kaz­TransGas has announced that the gas tariffs will increase for Tbilisi enterprises and companies from September 16, rising from GEL 0.75 to GEL 0.80.

The company says the price increase is necessary to complete all the ongoing works on gas supply networks in the capital, adding that even after the increase, their tariffs are the lowest in the country.

“For commercial customers, the gas price in the regions is 0.86 GEL (including VAT),” KazTransGas – Tbilisi stated, adding the tariff will increase for 15,000 commercial customers out of 500,000 customers in the capital.

“The issue has been studied by the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission and the price increase has been substantiated,” the company said.

Economic experts say the tariff change might result in an increase in product prices, which will most of all affect the population.

Expert Gia Jandieri says after the gas tariffs are put up, the State should reduce some other taxes in order to promote small businesses.

“When businesses see increased taxes, of course this will affect the product prices…In order to overcome these challenges, the government needs to act,” he said.

Small entrepreneurs say the tariff increase will force them to increase their product price and services, which might lose them customers.

“The price of flour has been increasing and now if the gas tariff goes up too, the cost of bread will be up for sure,” one bakery owner said.

However, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Kobulia, says the tariff change will not affect the population, adding that there is no problem if the provider decides to slightly increase the tariff in Tbilisi and highlighting it is still lower in the capital than in the regions.

“Generally, we do not dictate to the commercial sector what price should be imposed. This is not our prerogative,” he said.

By Thea Morrison

20 August 2018 16:03