Former lecturer of Agrarian University, Economist, Lasha Gotsiridze thinks that tobacco smuggling will raise in 2017. This will be dangerous for both, business and state budget.
Gotsiridze explains the reason behind it is significant difference of tobacco prices between Georgia and neighboring countries. He names Armenia as an example and declares that difference between tobacco price and excise tax is almost 1.10 GEL.
“When one product is cheaper considering how hard it is to control borders, producers will bring it to somewhere where it is cheaper to cross the border and sell it in other places for higher prices. 10 days ago, 2000 smuggled cigarettes were found. The same fact happened yesterday.
On the one hand, smuggling will damage the business and on the other hand, it will be affect on government budget. Therefore, it will be difficult using the expenses which is planned from budget- declared Gotsiridze.
There have cases of tobacco smuggling in 2016, but it was insignificant amount. It didn’t have a significant influence, but this year, it is going to rise.