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14.11.2012 17:01

Dissenting Opinions at Parliament Over Benefits to Print Media

Maia Tsiklauri

In the nearest future Eliso Chapidze of the Parliamentary majority is going to submit to the Parliament of Georgia the proposal on the abolition of income tax for the Georgian print media. The proposal to be presented was initiated by the Georgian Press Association. According to Eliso Chapidze the consultations are being on with the government and majority members and the initiative will be presented to the Parliament within a short period time.

The initiative implies the abolition of income tax for the Georgian print media. The sum annually amounts to GEL 60,000-70,000 of the Georgian budget.

“This sum is not huge for the budget and we would welcome taking this step in favor of media. Frankly speaking some do oppose this idea. They think in case a certain type of organizations are released from this tax why others should not fall within this criteria. I am conducting consultations with the ones thinking this way, to win them over and collect sufficient amount of votes. The submission of the draft, being unaware whether it is going to be accepted, will be of PR nature, producing no result. I do want to get the result,” said Eliso Chapidze reporting to Media.ge.

Some MPs of the parliamentary majority, willing to help media, support the initiative. According to Zakaria Kutsnashvili of the majority due to the lack of revenue the abolition of the tax of the kind will be conducive to media advancement.

Zurab Japaridze of the parliamentary minority disapproves the introduction of benefits and an attempt of admitting exceptions. Print media, he says, is a specific side but he is generally against allowing any exceptions.

“There should be no direction or sector, either media or any other organization of specific profile, exempt from taxes. These kind of exceptions make “holes” in the Tax Code which ultimately result into tax evasion or corruptive schemes and the like. Therefore, despite my huge respect, there should be no exceptions offered in the Tax Code to any type of media and equal taxation should be applied,” said Japaridze reporting to Media.ge.

The initiator of the abolition of income tax for the Georgian print media is the Georgian Press Association founded in 2009 by Zaza Akhobadze (The Tbiliselebi magazine), Joseph Gogonashvili (The Akhali Taoba), Irakli Tevdorashvili (The Kviris Palitra), Zurab Macharadze (The Rezonansi) and Lasha Nadareishvili (The Asaval-Dasavali). On December 7, 2011 the new members including Zaza Gachechiladze (The Messenger) and Maia Purtseladze (The Versia) joined the Association. Following the meeting with Bidzina Ivanishvili in December 2011 the Georgian Press Association founded the Organization to Support Free Press who received the first donation from Bidzina Ivanishvili.

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