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Moratorium on Land Sales to Foreign Nationals Comes under Criticism

Published: September 27, 2013 | 8:41 pm
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A subject which the President and the Prime Minister partially agree upon – the legislation that has been passed by the Parliament in spite of Mikheil Saakashvili’s veto has now been criticised
by Bidzina Ivanishvili. The issue in question is the recent introduction of a moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands to foreign nationals. The head of the parliamentary commission dealing with agricultural issues has stated that while the moratorium will not be scrapped, the process of enabling foreign nationals to lease land plots for lengthy periods will be speeded up. According to him, this move will make it attractive for foreign nationals to invest in the Georgian agricultural sector.
The non-governmental organisation Transparency International-Georgia has accused the government of violating the constitution, stating that the restrictions on the sales of lands to foreign nationals represent an equivalent of restricting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. According to an analyst at the NGO, the country is losing the potential to develop its agricultural sector through foreign investment, while the frequent legislative changes are depriving businessmen of stability.

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