Today Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili chaired a Government meeting at the Administration of the Government. The Cabinet of Ministers discussed 37 issues on the agenda.

The Government approved a proposed legislative package seeking to introduce significant amendments to the Tax Code. The package of amendments was presented at today's Government meting by the Minister of Finance.

This package increases the amount for criminal liability from 50,000 to 100,000 GEL. In addition, criminal liability is abolished for tax offenses related to waybills, excise stamps, and others. The package also includes significant incentives for individual sectors, such as aviation, for instance. To this end, we will exempt from VAT excise duty aviation fuel intended for domestic flights, also exempting different air transportation services.

Special incentives will be introduced to apply to owners of micro power stations. In particular, excess energy generated by individuals' micro power plants will be sold without taxing the revenues.

The amendments also apply to the construction sector. In particular, the tax incentives period for delayed construction will be extended to two years.

On the decision of the Government, amendments were made to the Decree on Measures to Be Taken to Ensure Switchover to Universal healthcare. According to the proposal, limits will apply only to those with high incomes, not their family members.

Terms and conditions will be amended in relation to citizens with average incomes (1,000 GEL per month on average and not exceeding 40,000 per year), as they will have to make a choice between private insurance and the universal state healthcare program with a lower scope of services. In addition, this category of citizens, regardless of their private insurance licenses, will be able to enjoy access to treatment of oncological diseases, namely chemotherapy and hormone therapy, also child delivery/C section services.

Citizens with lower incomes (up to 1,000 GEL per month on average), also self-employed citizens, those with irregular incomes, and others, despite being holders of private insurance policies, will enjoy the universal state healthcare program, albeit its limited package of services. In addition, through the transitional period, they will have an advantage of engaging in private insurance schemes. In particular, even if is such individuals purchase private insurance packages, they will be able to receive the same emergency services under the universal state healthcare program. Under the program, this category of citizens will also have access to management of oncological diseases (chemotherapy, hormone therapy, laser therapy) and child delivery/C section services.
The socially vulnerable citizens registered with the unified database, whose rating fluctuate between 70,000 and 100,000, and children/adolescents between 6 and 18 years of age, will keep the so-called basic package in full. In addition, they will not be restricted from using private insurance policies.

The amendments under the package of legislative proposals will come into effect on May 1, 2017.
In addition, on the decision of the Government of Georgia, a pharmaceuticals component will be added to the universal state healthcare program. In particular, starting the summer of 2017, every citizen suffering from chronic diseases, whose ratings do not exceed 100,000 points, will have relevant medications financed. Pharmaceuticals and doses were selected from the list of essential medications used based on modern clinical recommendations for treating such diseases in outpatient clinic practice. This decision will contribute to increased access to medications for citizens suffering from chronic diseases, which, for its part, will enhance the quality of medical services.

The Government will procure services for preparing technical and economic feasibility study and detailed project development for the second lane of the Kutaisi bypass highway. The relevant draft decree was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at today's meeting. The estimated cost of said services is 6,000,000 GEL.

Prime Minister's Press Office