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Georgian incoming PM outlines efforts in healthcare, employment, agriculture
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2012-07-03 10:41

The Georgian incoming prime minister on Monday outlined the new government's priorities in the areas of healthcare, employment and agriculture.

Vano Merabishvili, Georgian former interior minister since 2004, said his government would "allocate 3 billion laris (1.84 billion U.S. dollars) for healthcare in the next four years and the money will be spent on the insurance of all citizens."

"We will continue to provide insurance services to socially vulnerable families, IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), pensioners, children, policemen and servicemen, women and children under school age."

The incoming prime minister, who is waiting to be presented by the president to the parliament later on Monday, also said the Georgian president has promised to increase the monthly pension to 163 laris (100 dollars) in 2013.

All families in the South Caucasus country will get 1,000 laris (613 dollars) as vouchers in the next four years.

"We want Georgian citizens to be able to pay gas, electricity, water and other communal taxes with the vouchers. We want families to be able to buy medicines and school textbooks; and farmers to be able to buy agricultural equipment," Merabishvili said.

As to the issue of employment, Merabishvili said: "I want to change the situation significantly in this area. Fight against unemployment will be the main challenge for our government."

"We plan to invest 4 billion laris (2.45 billion dollars) in Georgian villages to develop Georgian rural areas," Merabishvili said, adding that the effort was aimed at transforming Georgian villages into the development basis of the country.

He admitted the jobs ahead would be tough, saying that "our work will be very tense; we will have to work very intensively. I will have very strict demands. We will all be very happy if we deliver with our promises."

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili pointed to three key areas that the government need to address, namely employment, agriculture and healthcare, when he appointed Merabishvili as the prime minister on June 30.

Merabishvili is the sixth prime minister during the two-term presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili since early 2004. His predecessor Nikoloz Gilauri served as prime minister for 41 months until June 30.

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